The feedback over peer-to-peer accommodation site Airbnb has been so “overwhelmingly” positive that the business is expanding with the aim to one day ‘own the entire travel experience’.

‘Own the entire travel experience’… Like a traditional Travel Agent you mean?

sounds-familiar

We’ll let you decide.

The accommodations-sharing website this week launched an extension to its website called ‘Trips’, which (as it sounds), which allows users to scroll through destination tips and information as well as book experiences.

Yes, in addition to booking accommodation, users can now book activities.

Although ‘Trips’ has been around since November last year, it’s only just become available for users in Sydney this month, making the city its 13th destination.

Airbnb feature

Airbnb said it gives holidaymakers access to a number of curated activities that are designed and led by local experts – and by local experts, Airbnb means…

People that want to “participate in and contribute to local tourism” by sharing their “skills and favourite experiences with others”. Oh and, “whilst making a little extra money from their interests and passions”.

So, just as you can rent out people’s homes through Airbnb, you’ll also be also able to rent out their local knowledge too.

“It’s a great way for people to discover new things to do, meet new people, and play tourist in their own backyard,” Airbnb Vice President of Product Joe Zadeh said.

Airbnb trips

On the one hand, ‘Trips’ does tap into the growing desire among holidaymakers for local and immersive travel experiences by giving them a local’s home and expertise, but will it step on the industry’s toes? Especially with Zadeh claiming the move is a step towards Airbnb ‘owning the entire travel experience’.

It looks like it already has struck a chord with Webjet’s Managing Director John Guscic who went on the defense, saying he doesn’t see Airbnb as a threat but rather an opportunity to “expand the total travel market”.

“We do not see Airbnb as a threat, quite the contrary. Any entity that assists in expanding the total travel market is welcome in our world.”

John Guscic, Webjet Managing Director

Guscic continued, saying that “in reality, the global travel market will continue to grow for the foreseeable future”.

Do you think Airbnb is trying to become a full service business akin to a Travel Agent? Share your thoughts below.