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Airbnb offers around-the-world adventure trips

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Hospitality booking site Airbnb has introduced a service that allows guests to book adventure trips and travel around the world, for up to 80 days.

The new Airbnb Adventures, an expansion of Airbnb Experiences, provides users with a new way to book trips and take a voyage across six of the world’s continents.

The service aims to introduce guests to natural wonders, cultures and communities that are hard to reach on their own.

Users can choose from hundreds of small group excursions and bucket list nature trips, which the home-sharing platform says are designed by expert hosts who have a wealth of local knowledge and outdoor credentials.

In addition to planning activities, Airbnb Adventures hosts also provide lodging and meals, coordinate the gear list and provide local transportation.

“Getting access to epic and transformational travel has never been easier than through Airbnb Adventures,” says Joe Zadeh, VP of experiences at Airbnb.

“Like Airbnb Experiences, people can escape their day-to-day and put their screens and devices away. But now instead of just a few hours, they have the option to be fully immersed off-the-beaten-path, to push themselves out of their comfort zones and have experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Hosts are the providers of the adventures: they arrange their own adventure, and control when and where they host, the itinerary, where they stay, what services they offer, and what they charge, notes Zadeh.

“Typical adventure trips available range from tracking lions on foot with Sabache Warriors in Kenya, to hunting for unidentified flying objects in Arizona, to a surf camping trip in Malibu. Also on offer is a local shark research adventure in Bredasdorp, and a camping trip on the side of a cliff in Colorado, US,” according to Airbnb.

Trips range from two to 80 days, with over 200 adventures to choose from. Flights are not included, with the exception of inter-country travel within the ‘around the world in 80 days’ itinerary.

Hosts offer a range of prices from $79 (R1 133) for an overnight trip, up to $5 000 (R72 000) for a 10-day trek.

Airbnb recently introduced Airbnb Luxe, expanding its home-sharing options to include some of the most expensive and luxurious accommodation across the globe.

“Today’s luxury traveller is craving more than just high-end accommodations; they seek transformation and experiences that leave them feeling more connected to each other and to their destination,” notes Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO.

“With Airbnb Luxe, we are applying the same approach we’ve used since we launched Airbnb more than 11 years ago — creating local, authentic and magical travel moments to reimagine the way people think and experience luxury travel.”

According to Airbnb’s most recent annual report, SA had 43 000 active hosts on the platform in 2018. Of those, about 17 000 were in Cape Town.

Tourism in SA contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8 billion to the economy in 2018, making it the largest tourism economy in Africa, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.

The company says since Airbnb's local launch in 2015, hosts across SA have earned over $260 million (R3.7 billion) in total, helping to grow SA’s economy.

Airbnb says its tourism model supports 22 000 jobs across SA, with half being freelancers, part-time workers, or stay-at-home parents.

Last year, the company made a $1 million investment commitment to promote and support community-led tourism projects in Africa.

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