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Airbnb launches digital tourist experiences for virtual travel


Agence France-Presse

 /  Sat, April 11, 2020  /  08:08 pm

Airbnb is shifting its Experiences platform, which sells guided tours and tourist activities like cooking and pottery classes, to the virtual world with online experiences that will be hosted through Zoom.

With half of the world sheltering in place, travel has been placed on indefinite hold. Airbnb is pitching its Online Experiences service as a new way to connect with people around the world and help hosts earn income throughout the COVID-19 disruptions.

So far, the platform features activities from 30 countries and includes everything from learning about K-beauty from a TV host in Seoul to learning the art of meditation from a Japanese monk in Osaka or making homemade pasta with an Italian nonna in Rome.

Older, isolated adults can also sign up for a free Online Experience and learn a new skill through groups like SAGE, which works to improve the lives of LGBT older people, and the National Council on Aging.

Read also: Guests and hosts can cancel Airbnb reservations penalty-free during coronavirus

"Millions of elders aren't able to go outside and risk their health due to the current crisis and need activities to help them stay connected to the world around them," said SAGE CEO Michael Adams in a statement.

"Through our partnership with Airbnb, SAGE is able to give older members of LGBT communities across the country an opportunity to not only meet other people, but also learn a new hobby and travel to nearly anywhere around the world, all from the safety of their home."

Other experiences include learning magic, tapas classes from Portugal and training with a British Olympian.

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