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‘Whole trip’ service stirs Airbnb bigger than ever, but many want tougher regulations

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry with an ambitious swelling and a star-studded open but it comes at a fragile time for the company

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry by offering travellers tours and know-hows hosted by neighbourhoods, an ambitious stretch which will allow people to programme entire trips through the home-sharing site.

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

Offerings include stargazing, channel-surf, embellishing, meat tasting, truffle hunting, burlesque dance readings, mountain biking, samurai-sword first-class and murder-mystery tours.

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, established the proclamation at the start of Airbnb Open, a three-day throng of employees, emcees and luminaries in Los Angeles. If you want to travel, you mostly end up on a research assignment, Chesky said. We want to fix this.

Rory Carroll (@ rorycarroll7 2)

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

November 17, 2016

It will create a holistic walk know-how, said Chesky. This is not a tour. You participate. You are immersed … the issue was literally merely the beginning.

The announcement came at a fragile season for Airbnb. The colossus, valued at $30 bn, is eyeing a stock market entry but a rising tide of regulation and concern about the companys impact on belonging marketplaces threatens to stall breakneck increment. It currently boasts 3m belonging inventories in 191 countries.

Critics say that instead of ordinary people renting out spare areas in a benign cultural and fiscal exchange, numerous emcees are commercial hustlers who fuel lease rises, evictions and gentrification a reality Airbnb allegedly blurs by withholding and massaging data.

New York last-place month overtook a principle to penalty residents who rent out accommodations for illegal short-term stands. San Francisco realise emcees registry and can fine Airbnb for registering an unregistered property.

The next big combat is in LA, where the city council will shortly debate whether to strengthen rules.

A coalition of tenants, community activists, labor governors and business allies is due to rally outside the companys celebration the coming week to try to engage multitudes and pressing city authorities.

We are very concerned at how short term leases are perverting our dwelling marketplace and parent our payments, said James Elmendorf, of the advocacy group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy( Laane ). So we are out there educating Airbnb multitudes about their responsibilities so theyre not only hearing from the company.

Airbnbs expansion into tours and suffers will open multiple brand-new fronts for powers around the world who are still fighting with how to charge and regulate its short term rentals.

Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last month delivered a rule to penalty local residents who rent out apartments for illegal short-term stands. Photo: 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 black and promising transformative altered in a slick presentation. Hires, plus some of the 200 correspondents Airbnb hovered in for the occasion, encouraged and saluted.

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

Chesky legislation the companys move as empowering travelers to connect with other beings and authentic knowledge they would not otherwise have as tourists. The exhibition showcased hosts including an astro-photographer in LA, a jazz pianist in Havana and a lifestyle blogger in Nairobi.

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

Chesky provoked the companys parentage in 2007 where reference is and co-founder Joe Gebbia started hosting parties 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 essentially change how travel and tourism works.

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

Property emcees compensate Airbnb a 3% fee. Knowledge 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 raise to my business. I had the structure already, said Kike Correa, 26, who takes clients paddleboarding, snorkeling and scuba diving in the Florida Keys.

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

Chuck McCarthy, an L-Abased actor who supplements his income by treading parties, said he was open to becoming a host. If Airbnb reached out to me as The People Walker, Id surely think about it.

The LA gathering includes meetings and shops with names like construct rapport through community, leapings of sect: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips, noting your inner joyous legion and be a 5-star legion. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk entitled artistic living beyond anxiety: journey with curiosity.

Airbnbs ambition and its emcees evangelical ardor will dishearten detractors who accuse the company of representing an increase of rents and breaking neighborhoods by siphoning off rental units for sightseer multitudes, a criticism 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 consumed by corporate property customers who masquerade as property owners but are simply causing illegal hotels with no regard for Venice as a accumulation of vicinities, fitted with neighbors and parish, said Mary Anne Thomas, 64, a librarian who is being expelled from the bungalow she shares with her husband and dog.

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

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

Airbnb denies degenerating house crises in LA or elsewhere, saying it compensates taxes which money low-income dwelling and renders money an average of $7,500 per year which helps middle class hosts pay their own leases and mortgages.

Its a platform that was created to keep beings in their homes, said Lehane, the head of world-wide policy. Gentrification and homelessness had wider, deeper effects, he said. Were talking about socio-economic trends going back 10 years.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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