Airbnb to expand offering for guests to include 'immersive trip experience'

Airbnb now plans to offer guests a fully immersive trip experience. Credit: PA

Airbnb has announced plans to expand it business model beyond hosting and offer guests the opportunity to plan and book every aspect of their trip.

The company unveiled the new idea during the kickoff of a three-day event in downtown Los Angeles.

It said guests would now be able to create a hand-crafted itinerary, for a couple of days or a couple of hours, to provide tourists with a more authentically local experience.

Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky said the new model marked the most dramatic expansion of the company's home- and apartment-renting service since its founding eight years ago.

Until now, Airbnb has been about homes. Today, Airbnb is launching 'Trips', bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.

Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO

'Trips' launches with around 500 Experiences in 12 cities worldwide, including London, Paris and Cape Town.

Airbnb currently offers guests three million homes across 191 countries.

The new services dovetail with a campaign the company launched earlier this year to encourage travellers to skip the big tourist sites - and hotels - and instead live like locals when abroad.