Just like how Uber has become synonymous with transportation around the world, Airbnb has done the same for travelers looking for short stays.
There has also been much contention among locals in Singapore with regards to letting their neighbours rent out their homes on the platform to strangers.
This has even prompted parliament to pass a new law to make short-term home rentals like these illegal in Singapore.
We’re Still Getting Airbnb’s Trips Though
While the Singapore government sorts out the details to potentially let services like Airbnb have some leeway, the company at least is letting us enjoy another exciting new feature – Trips.
If you have updated your Airbnb app in the last 24 hours, you would’ve seen a totally revamped user interface.
Gone are the days where you simply browse the app for a place to stay.
Now ‘Experiences’ and ‘Places’ are given more prominence as the app recommends a whole list of activities to participate and locations to visit.
First launched in Los Angeles in November 2016, Trips has finally made its way into Singapore, making us the first market in Southeast Asia to try it out.
Airbnb says that some 800 ‘Experiences’ are currently available in 14 cities around the world, and Singapore join the likes of Tokyo, Seoul, and Sydney in the Asia Pacific region.
The whole idea for Trips is to let you live life as a local.
For most bookings on Airbnb, travelers would more likely be already staying in what one could consider residential areas anyway, so adding Trips into the mix is a logical next step.
Airbnb’s Co-Founder Was In Town To Launch Trips
“Singapore is a heritage hub with incredible diversity, culture and energy. I’m so excited to be launching Experiences here today.”
Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb, was in Singapore over the weekend to not just talk about his company’s journey as part of Singapore Design Week, but was also here to launch Trips yesterday, even going on a trip of his own.
His local ‘Experience’?
Making artisanal Soon Kueh with Nick Soon, owner of One Kueh at a Time, in Berseh Food Centre, Jalan Besar.
“We want to make travel magical again by immersing curious visitors in local cities and neighbourhoods, offering yet another way for the Airbnb community to help you feel like an insider in Singapore.”
Don’t worry, there are other stuff other than making soon kueh in Singapore available.
Nick Soon is part of the first batch of ‘Experience’ hosts that will let you immerse yourself in a variety of activities from clay pottery in Singapore’s oldest kiln, to experiencing the kampung lifestyle in 2017.
For one, Airbnb is making local activities more accessible to younger Singaporeans who, if not for it, won’t really think about going for such experiences.
On the other hand, it also makes planning for a holiday a little more varied with all the activities which you can get yourself into.
By the end of 2017, Airbnb hopes to have over 50 cities going live in Trips, and that means most major cities around the world will be included.
I’ll be giving Trips a spin the next time I get on a plane out of Singapore – will you?