With the recent COVID-19 travel restrictions, travel agencies, airlines, and hotels have been hard-hit by the loss in demand. Even start-ups like Airbnb have not been spared, with the company expecting to lose up to one billion dollars in bookings in just the first half of 2020.
In order to generate revenue for itself and its hosts during this difficult time, Airbnb has taken things online and are now offering Airbnb Experiences – virtually.
Airbnb Experiences was a platform where users could engage local guides and personalities for actual tours and hands-on activities. As a response to the COVID-19 situation, you can now enjoy specially-designed Airbnb Experiences from all over the world without leaving the comfort and safety of your home using video-conferencing technology .
We examine some of these experiences you can expect, and whether they offer something worth paying for.
What Can You Expect From Airbnb Experiences?
Most virtual Airbnb Experiences you can find fall under one of three types – 1) tours or talks that teach you about the culture of a place 2) activities and hands-on sessions that you can do by following the instructions 3) live concerts or performances. Many of the activities are interactive and are very accessible, with little or no re-requisites to join in.
Airbnb take efforts to ensure that hosts are subject matter experts, so that users are assured of unique, high-quality and memorable experiences that cannot be easily found elsewhere.
With prices ranging from being as cheap as $2 to more than $50, there are activities at every price point, whatever your interests may be.
Are Virtual Experiences A Sign Of Things To Come?
Like virtual tours and online lessons, COVID-19 have accelerated the creation and adoption of virtual tours. But while such experiences may be popular now due to novelty factor and lack of alternatives, they would in time to come need to contend with other options, such as in-person tours.
However, Airbnb’s online Experiences have shown us how we can learn more about cultures or communities from around the world in a cost-effective, time-efficient manner.
If you have not tried at least one virtual tour before, you could give it a go and perhaps get a glimpse into what the future of tourism might look like – today.