BERLIN — Ever wanted to go to Berghain with a Berliner? Airbnb could soon help to make that happen.
The San Francisco tech giant is going to start allowing Airbnb users in Berlin to offer “experiences” to travellers visiting their city.
Nathan Blecharczyk, cofounder and chief technology officer of Airbnb, said on Friday that Berliners will be able to take tourists and curious locals on a paid experience from May, adding that an experience could include going out for drinks.
“We’re really repositioning Airbnb as a platform for the entire trip,” he told an audience of entrepreneurs and tech workers at the Factory tech hub in Berlin, adding that Airbnb is also looking at offering flights and other travel services through its app.
Airbnb currently allows users to offer experiences in 13 other cities around the world and Blecharczyk said this will be expanded to 51 by the end of the year. There are 700 experiences listed on the platform and that number is “growing rapidly,” according to Blecharczyk.
The 33-year-old billionaire said travellers can use the company’s experiences feature to go foraging for mushrooms, hiking, marathon training in Nairobi, or cycling in San Francisco.
“Our most popular one [city] so far is Havana, Cuba,” he said. “You go to Havana and it’s really hard to get plugged into the local scene or know how to find things and experience the culture.”
He added: “It’s really a bi-directional thing. It’s not just a way to make money. It’s a way to meet people.”
Commenting on what kind of experiences Berlin entrepreneurs could offer, Blecharczyk said: “You can have an experience around being an entrepreneur in Berlin. Take them here [to Factory]. Maybe take them to see some of the local startups and then out for drinks. That could be an experience. That could be a way to network with entrepreneurs around the world.”
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