‘Personalized Experience’ has certainly become the buzzword in the travel and hospitality industry. ‘City Hosts’, is Airbnb’s  latest feature offering personalized experiences by locals in individual cities.

AirBnb City Hosts

The beta version of this feature is being made available by invite only and my account was targeted last week. The concept looks interesting and offers personalized experiences by locals, at a price (obviously!). It allows users to build their own package where each trip could include single or multiple experiences and stay at an AirBnB home. Experiences can be booked individually as well. The 11 cities currently offering the program are;

  • Cape Town
  • Florence
  • Havana
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Nairobi
  • Paris
  • San Francisco
  • Seoul
  • Tokyo

The website is dynamic and offers a selection of experiences that display based on city/month chosen.

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Clicking through a specific experience displays further information about the hosts, experiences they offer and the packaged price. Some experiences are offered as a city package and some are available as individual bookings. Worth noting that while the experiences are personalized, the tour is not. Your tours could include other Airbnb travelers who select the same package.

Sample experiences in Cape Town, South Africa

Sample experiences in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Details of an experience package in Cape Town

Details of an experience package in Cape Town

 

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A sample Cape Town experience package with pricing

 

The packages also includes a ‘city host app’ which is intended to be a digital guide in the city. It will push recommendations and other experiences which can be purchased as add-ons to a trip. For some odd reason, having a data enabled phone is a must in order to make use of the city host program. This is a significant drawback, most international travelers still rely on WiFi services and opt out of exorbitant international data plans. Below is what AirBnB says about this:

Seriously? That’s a shame.

Seriously? That’s a shame.

 

Take away

The public site for this program is still under wraps. If an account has not been targeted yet, it can be added to a wait-list through the website.The list of experiences runs the gamut from food tours, adventure sports, photography, wellness tours etc.  I am definitely intrigued by the new offering and if price is right may include it in my next trip. The phone with data requirement however, should be a serious consideration for international travelers before signing up for a trip using this feature. City Hosts is bound to appeal to the demographic that prefers to indulge in local activities while traveling. If beta prices are anything to go by, the experiences come with a hefty price tag.

What are your thoughts on this new Airbnb offering?