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

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry with an ambitious expansion and a star-studded launching but it comes at a delicate age for the company

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

The redesigned app works for a dozen cities, 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, decorating, nutrient tasting, truffle chase, burlesque dance exercises, mountain biking, samurai-sword first-class and murder-mystery tours.

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, attained the notice at the beginning of Airbnb Open, a three-day gathering of hires, hosts and celebrities in Los Angeles. If you want to travel, you basically end up on a research programme, Chesky said. We want to fix this.

Rory Carroll (@ rorycarroll7 2)

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

November 17, 2016

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

The announcement came at a fragile time for Airbnb. The colossus, valued at $30 bn, is eyeing a stock exchange debut but a rising tide of regulation and concern about the companys impact on dimension sells threatens to stall breakneck raise. It currently boasts 3m property registers in 191 countries.

Critics say that instead of ordinary people leasing out spare rooms in a benign cultural and fiscal exchange, numerous multitudes are commercial hustlers who fuel hire rises, ousters and gentrification a reality Airbnb reportedly blurs by withholding and massaging data.

New York last-place month guided a principle to fine residents who rent out suites for illegal short-term stands. San Francisco attains legions registry and can penalty Airbnb for scheduling an unregistered owned.

The next big battle is in LA, where the city council will soon debate whether the government has toughen rules.

A coalition of tenants, community activists, labor rulers and business allies is due to rally outside the companys festivity this week to try to engage legions and push city authorities.

We are very concerned at how short term hires are perverting our casing grocery and promoting our payments, said James Elmendorf, of the advocacy group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy( Laane ). So we are out there civilizing Airbnb hosts about their responsibilities so theyre not just hearing from the company.

Airbnbs expansion into tours and knows will open multiple brand-new fronts for permissions around the world which remains fighting with how to tariff and regulate its short term rentals.

Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last month transferred a principle to fine local residents who rent out suites for illegal short-term abides. Image: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

Chesky, who is at 35 one of the worlds youngest billionaires, channelled the minds of the Steve Jobs Apple product opens in Thursdays announcement, wearing all black and promising transformative altered in a slick introduction. Hires, plus some of the 200 writers Airbnb ran in for the event, clapped and applauded.

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

Chesky billed the companys move as entitling travelers to connect with other beings and authentic know-hows they would not otherwise have as tourists. The performance showcased legions 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 the CEO. Half are priced below $200. Everything powered by parties. The occult is in the people.

Chesky conjured the companys cause in 2007 when he and co-founder Joe Gebbia started hosting people 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 world-wide program, said. It has real potential to essentially alter how travel and tourism works.

Hosting could be a lifeline for people displaced by robotics and other economic armies, said Lehane, a former political adviser to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Property multitudes pay Airbnb a 3% fee. Know multitudes compensate 20%. Those who signed up during a trial period the beginning of this year, and had participated in the LA event, lauded the collaboration.

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

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

Chuck McCarthy, an L-Abased actor who supplements his income by strolling beings, said he was open to becoming a legion. If Airbnb contacted out to me as The People Walker, Id obviously think about it.

The LA gathering includes meetings and workshops with deeds like structure rapport through parish, leaps of sect: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips, ascertaining your inner happy multitude and has become a 5-star emcee. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk entitled innovative living beyond anxiety: move with interest.

Airbnbs ambition and its legions evangelical passion will dismay detractors who accuse the company of representing an increase of hires and devastating places by siphoning off rental parts for tourist mobs, a commentary learn in London, Amsterdam, Berlin and elsewhere.

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

Airbnb is used by corporate belonging buyers who masquerade as property owners but are simply developing illegal inns with no thought for Venice as a collection of vicinities, fitted with neighbors and parish, said Mary Anne Thomas, 64, a librarian who is being evicted from the bungalow she shares with her husband and dog.

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

Tourists were often raucous and disruptive, said Thomas, standing in her yard. Beings in a neighboring residence which towered over the bungalow gazed down as she spoke. Airbnb-ers, she said.

Airbnb denies deteriorating dwelling crisis in LA or elsewhere, saying it repays taxes which fund low-income dwelling and affords cash an average of $7,500 per year which facilitates middle class multitudes pay their own payments and mortgages.

Its a platform that was created to keep parties in their homes, said Lehane, the is chairman of world plan. Gentrification and homelessness had wider, deeper stimulates, he said. Were talking about socio-economic directions going back 10 years.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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