Airbnb, which last year launched Experiences – an initiative that enables small businesses, entrepreneurs and community non-profits to create immersive experiences for travelers – is increasing its investment in that area of its business.
In a blog post, Airbnb said it will invest $5 million in the U.S. in an effort to develop, support and promote entrepreneurs through Airbnb Experiences. It is aiming to expand to 200 cities across the country this year.
“By attracting travelers from around the world who seek to see cities through the eyes of a local, Airbnb Experiences bring real economic value to neighborhoods and non-profits that previously would not have benefited from tourism," Airbnb wrote on in the blog post. "Even more, it provides a unique opportunity for people to earn extra income by showcasing their knowledge and talent with an audience of millions."
Since launching Airbnb Experiences, the company said it has seen a lot of growth, with global weekly guest bookings up over 2,000 percent and the number of active experiences growing by 500 percent. Currently, the company offers more than 4,000 experiences across 50 cities around the world. In the U.S. alone, it has more than 1,000 experiences, and that number is poised to grow.
“For our growing host community, sharing your passion with the world can be a powerful tool to earn valuable supplementary income. In fact, in the U.S., the average earnings for someone who hosts experiences nine times per month is $6,200 annually, while the average income for someone who is able to host more frequently, 15 times or so a month, is upwards of $24,000 annually,” Airbnb wrote.
The company did acknowledge that although many of the Airbnb Experiences are being led by small businesses and startups, some are led by local non-profits that are pouring all their money back into the organization.