Airbnb has launched its Trips platform in India starting with the national capital of Delhi. With this, the service has now expanded to five Asian cities, the others being Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok.
Trips is a feature within the Airbnb app that allows users to locate and book local tours and activities (dubbed Experiences) besides home stays.
It rolled out in select locations late last year but had been in the works since 2012.
Joe Gebbia, Airbnb co-founder and chief product officer, told Mashable in an earlier interview that Trips elevates Airbnb from a place to book accommodation to an “end-to-end” holiday firm.
“If you book with us you can discover these [activities] very easily over the same app, you don’t have to find a local service or dig through to find out what the local options are,” he said.
In Delhi for the launch, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said: “Trips is the most significant development in the history of Airbnb… I’m excited to launch India Trips today as we’ve handpicked unique experiences, designed and led by locals, to reflect the diversity and variety of the city.”
Chesky, clad in Indian wear, was also the showstopper at the event on Sunday.
Fifteen ‘Experiences’ are now available in Delhi and more will roll out in the coming weeks. Travelers can soak in the journey of a couture ensemble with Indian celebrity designer duo, Shantanu and Nikhil, at their Delhi workshop, see how to build a better community with Clothes Box Foundation or learn how to drape a sari in 20 different ways.
Chesky identified India as a key revenue generator for the future given the youth’s increased spending on travel. “The reason I am incredibly excited is, say in about 10 years from now it will be one of the world’s biggest markets for Airbnb,” he told the Economic Times.
At present, India accounts for less than 1 percent of the 3 million listings on Airbnb. Inbound bookings to India grew by 187 percent while outbound bookings, which is the majority of business from India, is growing by 200 percent, according to the report.
With the India launch, Airbnb Trips now has over 800 active “Experiences” worldwide.