Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has long talked openly about a goal to sell multi-day travel excursions, both for luxury travelers and as part of its collection of one-off Experiences. The company finally launched a full-fledged offering on Thursday, putting more than 200 “Adventures” on its site that range from nine days of camping in the Amazon jungle to four days kayaking in Sweden. Airbnb is mostly tapping professional, small travel operators to run these tours, rather than opening up a marketplace for semi-professionals like it has done with Experiences.
The offering introduces new risks for Airbnb, which says it will “meet certain quality and safety standards.“ And, it’s likely to be difficult to grow large enough to be a meaningful part of its business. But think of this as another step for Airbnb to show it is building a so-called “end-to-end” travel product. The company has said it will create a transportation booking service, is adding to its slate of hotels and has dabbled in ideas such as partnering with food providers. It wants to be able to offer enough pieces of what people want to buy when they travel so enough customers will offload more travel planning to Airbnb. There’s still a long road ahead.