The alternative tourism experience

Oana Vasiliu 25/10/2019 | 10:28

If Lonely Planet guides are too old fashioned for today’s world travelers, now we have apps that promise us the best of a traveling experience. Does mixing with locals seem a good idea on vacation?  Business Review talked to Airbnb representatives to find out how such experiences work. 

We’ve all heard about the circular economy, this concept that is now a way of life for many people around the globe. One of the problems in transitioning to a circular economy is that of unnecessary, excess production. In short, we own more stuff than we need. That’s where sharing platforms come in, generating income for owners and squeezing more value out of products, financially benefiting users on both sides of the rental transaction. And these sharing platforms offer more and more benefits to those using them, Airbnb Experiences or UberEats, to name a couple.

“Airbnb creates new economic opportunities for millions of Europeans and contributes to sustainable, healthy tourism that puts locals at the heart of 21st century travel. We know travelers are looking for new, unique things to do when they hit the road. Airbnb Experiences is meeting that demand, offering a new way for people to experience a destination or the city they call home,” Airbnb representatives told BR.  

In 2016, the service launched with roughly 500 experiences. Today, over 40,000 experiences are available around the world, while in Romania there are currently more than 160 active experiences available on the Airbnb platform. And this is just the beginning, taking into consideration that the service was launched locally in March 2019. So what has Airbnb actually done for tourism? An offline innovation, offering more than a tour or an activity. “We’re focused on making the experiences themselves better. Airbnb Experiences was created out of the belief that travel is broken; we want to offer something more authentic and less mass-produced by unlocking a different side of destinations through the eyes of locals. Experiences on Airbnb are defined by access, expertise and striving to create human connection,” note Airbnb officials. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line robot vacuum, chances are that you’ve come across Roborock vs. Roomba. Both of these names have quite a foothold in the robot vacuum market, offering a number of different models and various features. Roborock vs Roomba Both of these names have quite a foothold in the robot vacuum market, offering a number of different models and various features.

One of the best things is that the platform diversifies tourism by bringing the benefits of tourism to neighborhoods that don’t typically benefit from visitor spending, diverting foreign money to the local community. According to the Healthy Travel and Healthy Destinations report, the majority of the funds spent on Airbnb flows directly to hosts, who keep up to 97 percent of every Romanian Leu they charge to rent their space. Hosts can then spend and reinvest their earnings in a number of ways, including household expenses, rent or mortgage payments, cleaners, home improvement, healthcare and education.

EXPERIENCES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE INCLUDE: 

Bucharest Night Walkers – The Hip Side offering (from 200 RON)

The Museum of Living in Communism in Brasov (from 160 RON)

Unique second hand experiences in Brasov (from 80 RON)

Romanian cooking class in a local home in Timisoara (from 189 RON)

Bucharest Morning Coffee Tour (from 350 RON)

Truffle hunting in Transylvania (from 600 RON)

Sinaia e-mtb Discovery Tour (from 320 RON)

Kayak/SUP/hydrobike on a mountain lake in Cluj county (from 240 RON)

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