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‘Whole trip’ service becomes Airbnb bigger than ever, but many want tougher rules

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry with an ambitious stretch and a star-studded opening but it comes at a fragile season for the company

Airbnb is taking on the tourism industry by offering travellers excursions and know-hows hosted by locals, an ambitious expansion which will allow people to intention entire errands 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 on Thursday.

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

Brian Chesky, the companys CEO, became the bulletin at the beginning of Airbnb Open, a three-day meeting of hires, multitudes and fames in Los Angeles. If you want to travel, you mostly end up on studies and research projection, Chesky said. We want to fix this.

Rory Carroll (@ rorycarroll7 2)

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

November 17, 2016

It will create a holistic traveling experience, said Chesky. This is not a tour. You participate. You are immersed … the issue was literally only the beginning.

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

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

New York last-place month passed a law to fine residents who rent out apartments for illegal short-term abides. San Francisco constitutes multitudes registry and can fine Airbnb for scheduling an unregistered belonging.

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

A coalition of tenants, community activists, toil governors and business allies is due to rally outside the companys jamboree this week to try to engage multitudes and distres municipality authorities.

We are very concerned at how short term rents are subverting our housing sell and parent our hires, said James Elmendorf, of the advocacy radical Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy( Laane ). So we are out there developing Airbnb emcees about his or her duties so theyre not just hearing from the company.

Airbnbs expansion into tours and events will open multiple new fronts for governments around the world which remains wrestling with how to taxation and govern its short term rentals.

Opponents of Airbnb rally in New York, which last month guided a principle to fine local residents who rent out accommodations for illegal short-term stays. Picture: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

Chesky, who is at 35 one of the worlds youngest billionaires, channelled the minds of the Steve Jobs Apple product launchings in Thursdays announcement, wearing all pitch-black and promising transformative altered in a slick give. Hires, plus some of the 200 writers Airbnb piloted in for the episode, cheered and saluted.

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

Chesky statute the companys move as empowering travelers to connect with other people and authentic events they would not otherwise have as tourists. The rendition showcased emcees 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 here CEO. Half are priced below $200. Everything powered by beings. The supernatural is in the people.

Chesky stimulated the companys beginning 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 world plan, said. It has real potential to basically alter 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 adviser to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Property multitudes compensate Airbnb a 3% commission. Experience multitudes pay 20%. Those who signed up during a trial period earlier this year, and attended 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 Africa, priced $212, which starts with a hike up Table Mountain. Her first Airbnb buyers acclaimed from Peru, Sweden, Ireland and Britain, she said.

Chuck McCarthy, an L-Abased performer 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 surely should be considered it.

The LA gathering includes meetings and workshops with titles like house rapport through community, leaps of faith: strategic risk-taking, interior design tips-off, noting your inner joyous host and be a 5-star emcee. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, will give a talk designation artistic living beyond fear: trip with curiosity.

Airbnbs ambition and its emcees evangelical ardor will dishearten detractors who accuse the company of driving up rents and devastating neighborhoods by siphoning off rental gangs for sightseer mobs, a criticism discover 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 is used by corporate dimension purchasers who masquerade as property owners but are simply developing illegal hotels with no reference for Venice as a collect of vicinities, fitted with neighbours 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 evicted from their house in Venice, an Airbnb hotspot. Picture: Rory Carroll

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

Airbnb disclaims worsening home emergencies in LA or elsewhere, saying it fees taxes which fund low-income casing and affords cash an average of $7,500 per year which helps middle class emcees pay their own payments and mortgages.

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

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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