By The Hospitable Team
Airbnb is known as the largest online service for booking short-term rentals, but in 2016, the company expanded its offerings by launching a platform called Airbnb Experiences. It offers travelers a way to immerse into a destination’s culture in a local expert’s company. At the same time, the program gives Airbnb hosts an opportunity to make some extra cash while sharing their hobbies, skills, or expertise with the community.
In this blog, we take a closer look at what the program offers. Keep reading to discover how you can offer an experience to Airbnb guests.
What Are Airbnb Experiences?
Airbnb Experiences are activities that travelers can book during their stay somewhere. They are designed and led by knowledgeable local hosts to show off their cities, cultures, causes, or crafts. These unique activities go beyond the typical tour or class and allow travelers to enjoy their hobbies and interests in a completely new way and in a new culture. You can offer a tour of your city, host a cooking class, create a personal shopping trip, and lead nature hikes and other outdoor activities.
You don’t need to rent out a property to offer an experience because it’s a completely different service from Airbnb property hosting. But if you already list your rental property on Airbnb, you can join the Experiences Program because it’s a great way to increase your income. You can host an experience as often as you like and adjust your dates and times until you find what works best for you.
You’ll be able to promote the Airbnb Experience on its own or to the guests who book a stay on your vacation rental property. If you let them know that you offer an Airbnb Experience in your messages, you can sell it as an upgrade to your property listing. You’ll never forget to inform your guests about that if you use tools like Hospitable.com that can help you automate guest messaging.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
Hosts participating in the Experiences program pay a commission fee of 20% of the final price to Airbnb. This fee is deducted when Airbnb processes the payment. Although this fee may seem high, it allows Airbnb to provide support and tools for hosts to manage their experiences.
Part of the fee goes towards covering the cost of Airbnb insurance, for most experiences will keep hosts covered up to $1 million for protection against personal injury or property damage claims. Experiences liability insurance, a part of AirCover for Hosts, provides hosts with $1 million in coverage if a guest gets hurt or their belongings are damaged or stolen during an Airbnb Experience.
Keep in mind that the Experience fee and the regular Airbnb service fee are separate. So if you own a vacation rental property and offer an experience, Airbnb will charge you separately for both.
Airbnb Online Experiences
In April 2020, Airbnb pivoted the Experiences component of its platform to support hosts during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide guests across the world with unique opportunities for human connection. Airbnb transformed their in-person program into a 100% virtual travel platform called Online Experiences.
Airbnb Online Experiences offer hosts a new way to earn extra income by entertaining guests. Online Experiences are live special events hosted over Zoom where hosts can share their passions with travelers anywhere. These interactive online sessions allow guests to connect in real-time with people around the world in small groups, experience the world, and learn more about other cultures.
What Kind of Airbnb Activities Can You Offer Online?
Online Experiences are interactive activities that guests can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. They are essentially tours, events, classes, and workshops that take place completely online. For guests looking to book an online experience, hosts offer a wide range of Airbnb activities in different categories, including
- Arts & writing
- History & culture
- Social impact
- Olympians & Paralympians
- Designed for accessibility
Hosting an Experience
You’ve got a great idea for an Airbnb experience but don’t know how to get started? Here’s a quick overview of the process.
First, you need to review the Airbnb Experiences standards and requirements. Make sure that your experience meets the platform’s criteria for expertise, insider access, and connection. Create an experience page. Here’s what you need to fill in the basic information, including
- A title for your experience
- A description of what you’ll do with your guests
- The location(s) of your experience
- Details about what you’ll provide your guests and what guests should bring
- High-quality photos of people engaging in your experience
You should also specify the minimum age of your guests, the skills required to participate, and the maximum group size. Keep in mind that you must list your experience as an individual, not a business, and include your photo in your profile (not a company logo). You should also describe yourself in the “About Me” section of the Experience page.
Before you can start hosting, you’ll need to submit your experience for review and approval. You’ll increase your experience’s chances of being published on Airbnb if you offer access to something unique or otherwise inaccessible to the average visitor.
When submitting your experience, you should describe how you are uniquely qualified to run this experience. And if you offer Online Experiences, it requires a short video demonstration along with your submission. This video helps evaluate whether your experience meets Airbnb’s Online Experience standards.
After you complete the identity verification and submit your experience, it’s reviewed to ensure it meets Airbnb’s quality standards and requirements. This process takes about a week, and then Airbnb will notify you of the outcome. If it’s approved, you can add hosting availability to your calendar and start accepting bookings.
When setting a price for your experience, Airbnb recommends starting at a lower price and increasing it after some practice and a few 5-star reviews. If you want to remain a host in the Experience Program, you should do your best to provide a pleasant guest experience to ensure positive feedback. It’s critical to avoid too many low review ratings (1-3 stars) from guests. If hosts have too many low ratings or guest-reported issues, Airbnb may suspend their listings or even remove them from the platform.
If you want to succeed, you may need to work even hard to earn stellar ratings, but it’s worth it. Hosting a unique, interactive experience can boost your booking rate on Airbnb and increase your revenue. Offering two different services involves more work, but you can streamline your short-term rental business operations with comprehensive software like Hospitable.com and free up some time. With Hospitable, you’ll be able to automate repetitive tasks and run your STR business on autopilot.
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Airbnb Experiences is a platform that offers unique and exclusive opportunities to travelers who want to “live like a local.” If you’re renting out your property on Airbnb and have a creative passion or hobby, you can also become an Experiences host and lead people on activities your love. That will allow you to earn extra income and connect with people from all over the world.
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