Airbnb launches Trips, offering local ‘experiences’ in Singapore

Learn the art of making traditional Chinese kuih during your stay with Airbnb. Source: Shutterstock

AIRBNB has debuted its Trips feature in Singapore where users can book “experiences” and “immersions” hosted by locals.

The company site highlighted the new app will “add experiences and local trips while you’re on the go”, as well as “access unique experiences, incredible homes, and local favorites”.

Some of the experiences offered in Singapore include kuih-making from a vendor in Jalan Besar and learning how pottery is made in traditional dragon kilns.

Nick Soon, who runs One Kueh at a Time at Berseh Food Centre, told TODAY: “Many people only see a certain side of Singapore — the modern metropolis that’s a high-tech economic and shopping hub.

“They miss out on many of the things that make us tick, like our standards when it comes to that plate of noodles or understanding the stories behind Singapore’s hawker scene.”

Soon, who is one of Singapore’s first hosts for Airbnb Trips, hopes to share with participants his parents’ stories as kuih-makers.

Some of the experiential trips currently listed include surfing with an adventurer in Los Angeles, cycling around Miami with a local digital marketer, learning the art of pottery renewal, or kintsugi, with a Japanese master, and visiting little-known street markets in the heart of London with a local food expert.

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The app allows travelers to book “immersions” or “experiences”, with the former lasting many days, and the latter taking up only a few hours.

Users can also choose experiences based on categories they’re more inclined to such as nature, food, entertainment, arts or social impact.

Airbnb chief executive and co-founder Brian Chesky said: “If you want to have an amazing trip, you end up basically on a research project. You’re in line, you’re lonely, you’re outside, and you’re doing things locals never do.

“If you have a passion, an interest, or a hobby, you can share your community with others in the world.”