Co-founder Joe Gebbia in Bangkok announced the company’s latest development and biggest product announcement to date
Airbnb has launched Trips in Bangkok, following the global debut of this new platform in Los Angeles in November 2016. At a press conference held at Greyhound Café, Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief product officer, unveiled what this new service will look like here in Thailand.
Trips moves the company beyond a home sharing concept to an end-to-end hospitality solution comprised of three core offerings: Homes, Experiences and Places. Trips brings unique local experiences, insider guides and events designed and led by locals to guests staying with Airbnb and those not on the platform.
Thailand is an important and fast growing market for Airbnb with a 149 percent increase in the number of Thais using the service to travel in the past year alone. And the appetite isn’t only for travelling on Airbnb. There has been a 93 percent year on year increase in the number of Thais wanting to share their homes.
Until recently, Airbnb has been about home sharing, transforming the way people travel by allowing them to live like locals. With
Trips, Airbnb takes this a few steps further, adding bookable local experiences to provide an authentic way of exploring a new city. Experiences are designed and led by local experts who share an insider’s view of their city with curious travelers, giving unprecedented access to areas and places that people wouldn’t otherwise see.
Trips isn’t just for guests staying on the Airbnb platform. Experiences offered can also be booked by Bangkok locals and residents of Thailand who are interested in discovering new things to do in this vibrant capital city. Airbnb also aims to help cities diversify tourism away from busy urban centres by providing a way for locals to make extra money by sharing their passions.
“We want to make travel magical again by immersing curious visitors in local cities and communities, offering the opportunity to see the true character of a city through the people who live there,” says Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief product officer.
“Thailand is an incredible tourist destination, with inbound travel on Airbnb growing by 149 percent in the last year alone, but we know that travelers want to see the real soul of a place, especially in Bangkok – a leading creative capital in Southeast Asia known for its distinctive culture, edgy energy and rich heritage. I’m so excited to be launching Trips in Bangkok today.”
Three of the experiences being launched in Bangkok are:
Muay Thai by Matthew Deane
An immersion in Muay Thai with Matthew Deane, official Master of Ceremonies (MC) at Rangsuit International Boxing Stadium. The session begins with a tour of the KhongsitthaMuay Thai Gym, followed by an introduction to the fighters who will guide guests through the training program. Attendees will learn to strike with eight limbs, go three rounds in the ring, participate in the WaiKhru dance and finish with a strength and conditioning routine. At the end of the session, participants can enjoy a plate of Pad Thai (stirfried noodles) and may choose to view a live Muay Thai fight from ringside seats.
Thai Fruit Carving by WaewmaneeSaikaew
Learn about Thai cuisine from a local foodie! Guests will meet host Waewmanee at her one-table restaurant right in the heart of Bangkok and enjoy a traditional local meal. From there, they will ride a tuktuk to her favorite food market, where she will guide guests through colorful fruit and vegetable stalls, helping them pick fruit which they will then use to master the fine art of Thai fruit carving.
Local Flavors in a Glass by RonnapornKanivichaporn
Head over to hip neighborhoodThonglor to learn about the fine art of the cocktail from Ronnaporn, a Bangkok-based cocktail expert who has won numerous accolades. Ronnaporn will teach guests how to make three cocktails using traditional Thai ingredients.
Over 800 Experiences are now available in more than 13 cities around the world – including Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul here in Asia Pacific – with more than 50 cities due to launch by the end of the year.
Another element of Trips is Places, which makes the most of local expertise by adding the recommendations of hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts, neighborhood insiders and local influencers to the platform, providing travelers with access to a city’s hidden gems, as well as the chance to socialize with other guests and locals through meet-up events.