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Airbnb Experiences – Everything a host should know

Looking to make some extra income from your vacation rentals? If you enjoy interacting with guests and sharing your passions, talents, or expertise, Airbnb Experiences are a great way to add value to your guest experience and profit to your pockets. 

Launched in 2016, Airbnb Experiences offer unique, localized, and immersive activities that go beyond traditional sightseeing. This blog post will guide you through everything you need to know to add the option of an engaging Airbnb Experience to your vacation rental guests.

Man presenting attraction

What is an Airbnb Experience?

Airbnb Experiences give travelers an opportunity to engage in authentic and personalized activities, giving them a deeper understanding of the local culture and community. As an Airbnb Experience host, you can earn more profits by sharing your knowledge, expertise, and hobbies with guests from around the world.

Experiences vary by setting (indoors, outdoors, online), duration (from an hour to multiple days), price (a few USD to hundreds), and host (individual guides to tour companies). Depending on the nature of the activity you wish to offer, there are a few ways to host an Airbnb Experience:

Airbnb In-person Experiences

If you host vacation rentals, you are in the perfect position to add an option for in-person Airbnb Experiences. These activities can range from cooking classes and art workshops to hiking adventures and guided tours. As a host, you’ll have the opportunity to showcase your unique skills or knowledge and create memorable moments for your guests. 

Airbnb Online and Virtual Experiences

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb introduced Online and Virtual Experiences. Typically taking place via video calls, they allow hosts to offer workshops and events with guests from anywhere in the world. Airbnb Virtual Experiences use virtual reality (VR) technology to transport guests to different locations. Whether it’s exploring a famous museum or embarking on a virtual city tour, hosting Airbnb Virtual Experiences can provide guests with captivating adventures that can feel like they are really there.

two women making pottery

Airbnb Experience Categories

Airbnb Experiences encompass a diverse range of activities, catering to the varied interests and preferences of travelers. Here are some categories of experiences being offered:

  1. Art and Culture

Hosts with creative talents or passion for arts, crafts, or culture offer workshops on painting, pottery, jewelry making, music, theater, dance, and more. These provide guests the opportunity to unleash their creativity, learn new skills, and take home unique handmade souvenirs. You can also introduce lesser-known, traditional rituals, techniques, or customs unique to your location. 

  1. Food and Drink

Food and drink experiences are consistently popular among travelers seeking to immerse themselves in local culinary delights. As a host, you can offer cooking classes, wine tastings, food tours, or even host a dinner party showcasing regional specialties. Share your knowledge of local ingredients, traditional recipes, and culinary techniques to provide a memorable gastronomic experience.

  1. Sports and Fitness

If you’re passionate about sports and fitness you can offer activities like guided runs, cycling tours, surfing lessons, or martial arts workshops. Cater to guests who want to stay active and explore your area while engaging in their favorite physical activities or trying something new.

  1. Nature and Outdoors

For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, outdoor and adventure experiences are a great fit. Host hiking expeditions, kayaking tours, bike rides, or guided nature walks, showcasing the natural beauty and hidden gems of your local area. Provide insights into local flora, fauna, and environmental conservation, offering guests a chance to connect with nature.

  1. Sightseeing/Tours

Hosting an Airbnb sightseeing experience allows you to showcase the best of your local area and share your intimate knowledge and enthusiasm for its landmarks, attractions, and hidden gems. Whether it’s a guided walking tour, a bus excursion, or a bike ride, you have the opportunity to provide insightful commentary, historical context, and insider tips that make the sightseeing experience truly engaging and educational. 

  1. Wellness

In an increasingly fast-paced world, wellness, and mindfulness experiences have gained significant popularity. You can offer yoga classes, meditation sessions, healing workshops, or foraging excursions. Help guests unwind, find inner peace, and cultivate a sense of well-being through your expertise in holistic practices.

  1. Entertainment

Share your passion for entertainment and create memorable moments for guests. Whether you’re a musician, performer, or entertainer, you can offer an experience that captivates and delights. From intimate live music sessions to interactive comedy shows or even magic performances, your expertise and talent can bring joy and laughter to guests from all walks of life.

Picnic outside

Popular Airbnb Experience Ideas

The market for Airbnb Experiences is expanding rapidly, with travelers seeking more immersive and authentic activities during their trips. You want to offer something unique but at the same time, something that is popular enough to make it profitable. To do this, stay up to date with market trends and identify niche opportunities that align with your expertise and interests. 

Here are some examples of some of the best Airbnb experiences out there:

  1. Local Food and Wine Tour:

Airbnb local cuisine food experiences are some of the most popular choices. Take your guests on a gastronomic journey through your city’s culinary scene to show them the insider’s view of the best palate-pleasing delicacies.

  1. Wellness and Mindfulness Retreats:

Tap into the trend by creating an oasis of relaxation and self-care by hosting wellness experiences such as yoga retreats, meditation sessions, or spa days. Help guests find inner peace, recharge their energies, and connect with themselves in a serene environment.

  1. Team-Building Events:

Corporate team-building events provide an opportunity for companies to strengthen team dynamics, foster collaboration, and boost employee morale. Design activities and workshops that cater specifically to businesses and organizations, incorporating problem-solving challenges, and communication exercises. Here is a great article with some ideas for Online Airbnb Experiences for team-building.

  1. Photography Walks:

Showcase the beauty of your city or neighborhood by hosting photography walks. Guide guests to picturesque spots, share photography tips and techniques and help them capture stunning images of their travel experiences.

  1. Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Experiences:

Cater to environmentally conscious travelers by offering experiences that promote sustainability and eco-awareness. This could include organizing beach clean-ups, teaching eco-friendly practices, or leading nature conservation activities.

  1. Unique Workshops:

Think outside the box if you have special interests that enable you to offer original Airbnb Experiences. This could include craft brewing classes, perfume-making workshops, or even sessions on sustainable fashion or upcycling. The opportunities are endless!

abseiling

Are Airbnb Experiences Worthwhile?

Hosting Airbnb Experiences can bring in extra income but they can also be a lot of additional work. Here are some key points to consider when evaluating whether to take the plunge:

  1. Passion and Expertise:

Hosting Airbnb Experiences can be highly rewarding if you have a genuine passion for sharing your skills, knowledge, or hobbies with others. If you enjoy teaching, entertaining, or guiding, this can provide a fulfilling platform to connect with like-minded individuals.

  1. Additional Income:

If you are looking to make a profit from hosting your experience, it’s important to realistically assess the market demand, set competitive pricing, and factor in any associated costs or time investments. Keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Price

When determining your prices, evaluate the prices of similar experiences in your area to set a competitive and reasonable rate. Consider the costs involved in delivering the experience, such as materials, permits, or transportation, and ensure that the price reflects the value you provide. Regularly assess your pricing strategy to stay competitive and maximize your earning potential to ensure your Airbnb Experiences revenue outweighs the costs.

  1. Popularity and Demand

Booking rates can vary based on location, seasonality, and trends. Analyzing the demand for similar experiences in your area can help gauge their potential popularity. Consider factors like tourist influx, local events, and the overall appeal of your experience. 

  1. Increase Booking Potential and Repeat Business:

By hosting Airbnb Experiences, you have the opportunity to bring in more guests to your short-term rental that are seeking a more personalized and hands-on experience during their travels. It can also expand your reach by forging a more intimate relationship with guests who will recommend your services to others and even return to see you again for repeat bookings. 

  1. Challenges and Considerations:

Being a short-term rental host, you already know that there are some potential challenges to be aware of when hosting guests. Some considerations include managing guest expectations, ensuring quality and consistency in your experience delivery, handling logistics and customer service, and addressing any potential liability concerns. It’s important to assess your capabilities, resources, and willingness to take on these additional responsibilities. 

If you want to successfully add Airbnb Experiences to your offering, you will find that using a property management software like Guesty to automate the logistics of your vacation rental listings is key. Tools such as a channel manager, automated communication tools, and a mobile management app allow you to streamline those tasks so you can spend more time creating great guest experiences. 

How much does Airbnb charge as commission?

Airbnb charges a 20% service fee for experiences listed on their platform. This covers the use of their platform, products, services, and liability insurance, as well as 24/7 customer support.

The Airbnb Experiences fee is based on the price that the host sets and is already calculated into the price shown on the site. It is deducted automatically from the host payout before they are paid.

a girl traveler

How Do I Create a Unique Experience on Airbnb?

Creating a unique experience on Airbnb allows you to stand out from the crowd and attract guests who are seeking something different and memorable for their vacation. Here are some tips to help you craft a one-of-a-kind experience:

Tap into Your Passion and Expertise

Identify and leverage your passions, skills, and unique knowledge to create an experience that is truly authentic and captivating. This could be a specific hobby, cultural insight, artistic talent, or activity that you are able to share with others.

Embrace Your Unique Knowledge of Local Culture

Give your guests a backstage pass to your local culture, traditions, and history. Showcase the authentic taste of your area, such as local cuisine, music, art, or lesser-known attractions. Explore off-the-beaten-path or lesser-known locations, allowing guests to discover hidden gems and experience something immersive, genuine, and different from typical tourist activities.  

Foster Genuine Connections

Go beyond being a guide or instructor and aim to create meaningful connections with your guests. Engage in conversations, share personal stories, and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Be flexible and personalize your offering according to the individual guests so they feel they are getting a truly unique and tailored experience.  

Continuously Innovate and Evolve

Stay open to feedback and be willing to adapt and improve your experience over time. Listen to guest suggestions, evaluate their feedback, and incorporate new ideas to enhance the uniqueness and value of your offering.

Social Games

How to register as an Airbnb Experience – step-by-step

In order to be approved by Airbnb, your Experience must adhere to the standards and requirements and meet the three pillars of a quality experience – expertise, insider access, and connection. Airbnb is looking for offerings that are highly unique, specific, and interactive and they will only support your business if it falls within their guidelines.

You need to follow a few simple steps to get your experience approved and listed:

  • Sign up as a host on Airbnb Experiences.
  • Fill in the type of experience you want to offer (in-person, online, or virtual).
  • Create a compelling listing with an enticing title and detailed description. Be specific and include all the important details such as the location, age requirements, level of activity or skill required, and start time and length.  
  • Set a fair price for your experience based on the considerations listed above.
  • Upload high-quality photos and videos.
  • Fill in the “about you” section with your experience and qualifications.
  • Check the “settings” section to make sure all details are correct.

Once you have filled out your listing, you will submit it along with your identity verification to Airbnb for approval. You should receive a notification within a week. If you are denied, it is possible to edit your listing and submit it again. After approval, you can add your availability to your calendar and begin to accept bookings!

A few tips to enhance your success:

  • Promote your experience through social media, your personal network, and Airbnb’s marketing channels.
  • Communicate promptly and clearly with guests, addressing any questions or concerns they may have.
  • Provide exceptional customer service and ensure a memorable experience for your guests.
social games

FAQs about Airbnb Experiences

  1. Do I need to be a property host to host an experience?

No, anyone who qualifies by Airbnb can host an experience. However, for property hosts that would like to enhance their offerings, create deeper relationships with their guests and add an additional stream of income, adding on experiences can be a great option. 

  1. Do I need any qualifications or certifications?

This depends on the nature of your offering and local regulations. Certain activities, like guided tours or providing professional services, may require licenses or certifications. Check your local regulations and ensure that you comply with any necessary requirements.

  1. How do I handle bookings and reservations?

Airbnb manages the booking and reservation process for you. Once your experience is listed, guests can book it directly through the Airbnb platform. You’ll receive notifications when bookings are made, and it’s essential to respond promptly to any inquiries or messages from potential guests. Ensure you have clear policies regarding cancellations, rescheduling, and any other relevant terms, which can be set in your experience listing.

  1. How should I handle guest feedback and reviews?

Just as they are for Airbnb property listings, guest reviews and ratings are an integral part of the Airbnb Experiences platform. Aim to deliver exceptional experiences and actively seek feedback from guests. Address any concerns or issues raised by guests promptly and professionally. Positive reviews can enhance your reputation as a host and attract more bookings, so ensure you consistently provide memorable and high-quality experiences.

Hosting Airbnb Experiences can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavor for passionate individuals who want to enhance their guest experience by sharing their skills, knowledge, and interests with their guests. By creating unique and engaging experiences, you can leave a lasting impact on the guests you host, creating memories that are beyond just a pleasant stay.

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