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‘Whole trip’ service sees Airbnb big than ever, but numerous want tougher principles

Airbnb is taking on the tourist industry with an ambitious stretch and a star-studded launching but it comes at a fragile age for the company

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry by offering travellers tours and know-hows hosted by locals, an ambitious expansion which will allow people to plan entire expeditions through the home-sharing site.

The redesigned app works for a dozen metropolitans, including London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo and Nairobi, and will spread to dozens more next year, and eventually thousands, the company said here on Thursday.

Offerings include stargazing, channel-surf, sewing, nutrient tasting, truffle hunting, burlesque dance assignments, mountain biking, samurai-sword class and murder-mystery tours.

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, represented the announcement at the start of Airbnb Open, a three-day muster of hires, emcees and celebrities in Los Angeles. If you want to travel, you basically end up on a research job, Chesky said. We want to fix this.

Rory Carroll (@ rorycarroll7 2)

Brian Chesky unveils Airbnb’s next big-hearted occasion: ‘experiences’. Customized tours. Already live. pic.twitter.com/ 7bO7J2R35I

November 17, 2016

It will create a holistic walk knowledge, said Chesky. This is not a tour. You participate. You are immersed … this is literally just the beginning.

The announcement came at a fragile age for Airbnb. The colossus, valued at $30 bn, is eyeing a stock exchange introduction but a rising tide of regulation and expressed concerns about the companys impact on belonging groceries threatens to stall breakneck rise. It currently boasts 3m dimension enumerates in 191 countries.

Critics say that instead of ordinary people hiring out spare rooms in a benign culture and financial exchange, many emcees are commercial-grade hustlers who fuel rent rises, evictions and gentrification a reality Airbnb supposedly blurs by withholding and rubbing data.

New York last month elapsed a constitution to fine residents who rent out suites for illegal short-term abides. San Francisco prepares multitudes register and can fine Airbnb for rolling an unregistered belonging.

The next big-hearted battle is in LA, where the city council will soon debate whether to toughen rules.

A coalition of tenants, parish activists, drudgery leads and business allies is due to rally outside the companys jamboree the coming week to try to engage emcees and pressure metropolitan authorities.

We are very concerned at how short term rents are demoralizing our casing market and elevating our leases, said James Elmendorf, of the advocacy radical Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy( Laane ). So we are out there civilizing Airbnb emcees about their responsibilities so theyre not just hearing from the company.

Airbnbs expansion into tours and suffers will open multiple new fronts for sovereignties around the world that they continue to battling with how to levy and regulate its short term rentals.

Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last-place month delivered a law to penalty local residents who rent out suites for illegal short-term stands. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

Chesky, who is at 35 one of the worlds youngest billionaires, channelled the spirit of Steve Jobs Apple product propels in Thursdays announcement, wearing all pitch-black and promising transformative change in a slick proposal. Hires, plus some of the 200 journalists Airbnb operated in for the event, cheered and praised.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashton Kutcher will scatter Hollywood glitz when they address some of the 7,500 multitudes on Saturday.

Chesky billed the companys move as entitling travelers to connect with other parties and authentic suffers they would not otherwise have as tourists. The representation showcased hosts including an astro-photographer in LA, a jazz pianist in Havana and a lifestyle blogger in Nairobi.

Experiences can last a few hours or several days, said here CEO. Half are priced below $200. Everything powered by people. The sorcery is in the people.

Chesky conjured the companys root in 2007 when he and co-founder Joe Gebbia started hosting beings on an airbed in their San Francisco apartment, a real-life Silicon Valley fairytale.

Its the next really big chapter for us, Chris Lehane, Airbnbs head of global plan, said. It has real potential to fundamentally change how travel and tourism investments works.

Hosting could be a lifeline for people displaced by robotics and other financial thrusts, said Lehane, a former political consultant to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Property emcees pay Airbnb a 3% board. Experience multitudes compensate 20%. Those who signed up during a trial period earlier this year, and were represented at the LA event, lauded the collaboration.

Its a elevate to my business. I had the structure already, said Kike Correa, 26, who takes purchasers paddleboarding, snorkeling and scuba diving in the Florida Keys.

Nicole Biondi, 39, has designed a slaughter whodunit tour in Cape Town, South Africa, priced $212, which starts with a hike up Table Mountain. Her first Airbnb purchasers acclaimed from Peru, Sweden, Ireland and Britain, she said.

Chuck McCarthy, an L-Abased performer who supplements his income by going people, said he was open to becoming a multitude. If Airbnb contacted out to me as The People Walker, Id clearly think about it.

The LA gathering includes forums and seminars with designations like construct empathy through community, bounces of religion: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips-off, noticing your inner joyous emcee and has become a 5-star multitude. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk named inventive living beyond anxiety: traveling with interest.

Airbnbs ambition and its emcees evangelical ardor will chagrin detractors who accuse the company of representing an increase of hires and breaking places by siphoning off rental units for sightseer mobs, a critique hear in London, Amsterdam, Berlin and elsewhere.

In LA, activists say Venice, the citys bohemian coastal parish, is the worst affected: an Airbnb hotspot where hires have spiked 39% between 2011 and 2015.

Airbnb consumed by corporate property buyers who masquerade as property owners but are simply forming illegal hotels with no involve for Venice as a accumulation of neighborhoods, filled with neighbors and community, said Mary Anne Thomas, 64, a librarian who is being ejected from the bungalow she shares with her husband and dog.

Philip Henrikson and Mary Anne Thomas are being evicted from their house in Venice, an Airbnb hotspot. Photograph: Rory Carroll

Tourists were often thunderous and disorderly, said Thomas, standing in her ground. Beings in a neighboring house which towered over the bungalow gazed down as she spoke. Airbnb-ers, she said.

Airbnb denies worsening dwelling disasters in LA or elsewhere, saying it pays taxes which money low-income house and caters cash an average of $7,500 per year which facilitates middle class emcees pay their own hires and mortgages.

Its a platform that was created to keep parties in their homes, said Lehane, the heads of state of global policy. Gentrification and homelessness had wider, deeper lawsuits, he said. Were talking about socio-economic veers going back 10 years.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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