Airbnb enters the Irish tourism market

The accommodation website launches service providing tours and activities

Reginald Street in the  historic Liberties area of Dublin. The Trips tour here brings visitors  on the hunt for the best sausage roll in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

Reginald Street in the historic Liberties area of Dublin. The Trips tour here brings visitors on the hunt for the best sausage roll in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Airbnb is expanding beyond the provision of accommodation by introducing a new service for tourists called Trips. On Saturday, some 200 Irish Airbnb hosts gathered at the company’s headquarters in Hanover Quay to hear about the new service from chief marketing officer Jonathan Mildenhll. Dublin will be the 28th city to offer this additional service for visitors.

Trips aims to offer visitors the chance to explore a city through the eyes of a local. It will offer people the chance to enjoy a different part of the city and for locals to share their passions and interests with visitors. You do not need to be an existing Airbnb host or guest to use the Trips service.

So far there are 20 Dublin-based experiences to book on the Trips platform, led by local experts. They include a tour backstage of the Abbey Theatre, where you meet the Head of Costume, where you can learn about the costume design process, see the sketchbooks and costume fitting pictures.

There is a trip around the historic Liberties area that takes in some bakeries on the hunt for the best sausage roll in Dublin. On another trip, t he untold story of historic queer Dublin is told by an activist and historian who explains the socio-cultural and political life of LGBTQ Dublin.

A food-styling workshop will give ideas on photographing food, with light and shadow tips from an international food stylist and another sees a local musician giving insider access to the thriving local Dublin folk scene. Experiences will cost from €23.

Trips are already established across the US, and in cities such as London, Havana, Barcelona, Paris and Tokyo. Many are unusual, like hiking up to the Hollywood sign, discovering the squares of Barcelona, or a burlesque experience in London and learning calligraphy in Tokyo. Sports are well represented with surfing trips in California, serious cycling in Miami, and horse-riding in Spain.

The company states that this is an opportunity for people to share their knowledge and passion for a hobby, sport, social experience or place while making some money too.

Airbnb takes a commission of 20 per cent which it says covers the cost of the technology, products and services. The fee is waived for hosts who participate in eligible non-profit partnerships. Once signed up, hosts can run their experiences from a dedicated app. See airbnb.ie/experiences

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