On June 27, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) hosted a breakfast at their headquarters in Ladera Heights to encourage more minority-owned businesses to participate in the fairly new Airbnb Trips platform. In November of 2016, the company launched Trips, transitioning the company from a website for booking lodgings to a full-service travel company. Trips is part of Airbnb (Air Bed and Breakfast) vision to make travel easy by immersing travelers in local communities and providing access to unique and authentic experiences.
Trips offers two services for now: Experiences, like going truffle hunting or driving classic cars, which are led by locals, and places recommended by local residents. Think of it as going on vacation and visiting the excursion guest desk, but the desk is an app. Locals and businesses create the “Trips” (excursions), set the price, lead the excursions, and keep most of the earnings. It’s an 80 /20 split. It gives existing businesses and community organizations a new vehicle to promote their brand, products, mission and vision. To qualify for the program, you have to meet the criteria of credibility, aspect perspective, and participation. Music and sound was provided by JiJi Sweet who kept the presentation upbeat as Airbnb representatives spoke to the GLAAACC audience and answered questions.
David King, Airbnb director of Diversity discussed the “Trips and Experience” concept and how important diversity was to the process, stating “experience happens across all neighborhoods.” The hope was to give local entrepreneurs local access to Airbnb’s base of more than 200 million users and unlock a powerful new marketing channel. More importantly, Airbnb’s Trips platform allows tourism dollars to be diversified to smaller, local businesses and shared throughout the city, including in underserved communities.
Trips now shows up in the Airbnb app; initially the ability to browse and book experiences was available in only 12 cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo, and Seoul. Recently, the company added Trips to cities that include Shanghai, New York City (Harlem for now), and Singapore. Airbnb plans to have Trips available in 51 cities globally by year’s end.
GLAACC’s mission is to advocate and promote the economic growth and development of the African American business community by focusing on legislative advocacy, as well as identifying and developing business opportunities and strategic business alliances.
To learn more about Airbnb Trips visit www.airbnb.com/new. To learn more about GLAACC visit www.glaaacc.org.