Global travel company Airbnb on Thursday launched 'Online Experiences', a new way for people to connect, travel virtually and earn income during the COVID-19 crisis - all throughout participating from their individual homes.
With communities around the world staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, people can't pursue routine activities like going to work, exercising or pursuing a passion.
Notably, the platform has suspended its 'in-person' Experiences till the end of April to protect the safety and well-being of hosts and guests, and is now leveraging its technology platform to help its hosts continue to earn, while also allowing our guests to learn a new skill, safely connect with others, or pursue an interest.
The new initiative will allow hosts to earn an income in these uncertain times, and bring their transformative virtual experience to millions of guests, who want to experience a destination online.
It unlocks access to inspiring hosts from over 30 different countries, including Olympic medalists Alistair Brownlee and Lauren Gibbs. Whether a HIIT workout, learning about nutrition with a Bobsledder or a virtual bike tour, guests can now connect with some of the most celebrated athletes in the world from the comforts of their own living room.
"Human connection is at the core of what we do. With so many people needing to stay indoors to protect their health, we want to provide an opportunity for our hosts to connect with our global community of guests in the only way possible right now, online," said Catherine Powell, Head of Airbnb Experiences.
These Online Experiences include meditation with a Japanese Buddhist monk in Japan, learning to cook Mexican Salsas, Irish dance masterclasses, virtual bike tours, athlete sessions and even drawing classes.
Online Experiences will be hosted on Zoom, and Airbnb is providing hosts access to Zoom free of charge along with personalized support services for curating, capturing and sharing their online content.Booking opens immediately with more than 50 virtual Airbnb Experiences available at airbnb.com/online-experiences, with more following soon.