He’s the cofounder of a multi-million-dollar platform that revolutionised how we travel, a pioneer of the share economy, and a mildly talented surfer, apparently. This week, Airbnb’s co-creator Joe Gebbia paid his first visit to Australia and Collective Hub was lucky enough to spend a morning with the entrepreneur, for a special collaboration for our New Year’s issue (watch this space!) and to hear the breaking news of an exciting Airbnb development in the Australian market.
“I did come all the way here to share some big news,” reveals Joe. “We launched our Experience platform last year here in Sydney, which allows anybody who has a passion, insight or something they want to share with guests to get paid for it and really show their city off.”
In case you’re not familiar with the Airbnb Trips concept, it allows visitors to explore events, experiences and tours in 40+ cities worldwide, led by entrepreneurial locals. In Sydney, where there are over 135 experiences available to date, you can jog Manly’s best beaches with a running coach, visit the illusive Figure 8 Pools in the Royal National Park with an adventure guru, discover the best crumpets in the city, and do sunset yoga at Bondi’s famous Icebergs.
It’s a Sydneysider’s dream day.
The idea has proved so successful it’s time for expansion. “Sydney is one of Airbnb’s top markets,” says Joe. “So, we’re taking everything we’ve learnt [here] and I’m flying to Melbourne to launch experiences there too.”
The capital of Victoria is a booming area for Airbnb. There are 12,100 active accommodation listings in the city – a year-on-year increase of 40 per cent. But why book only a bed when you can relish life like a local: take a café tour, visit the ultimate farmers market, shop for vintage clothing, or get an insider’s scope of the music scene.
“Our big vision is how we can design the whole trip,” says Joe. “Accommodation is just one of many decisions people make to put a whole trip together. For us, we want to review every moment – how you want to get there, where to stay, what to do.”
As the leader of Airbnb’s innovation centre, how does the entrepreneur switch off his brain? “You could ask any entrepreneur that question,” he laughs. “I adopted a dog, so spending time with him [helps] and occasionally I get out and attempt to surf. I’m not doing it on this trip, but I’ll come back. We have some amazing experiences in Sydney to try.”
And, with Experience hosts earning more than $US6million to date worldwide, it could be a very profitable side project for you too.
For more information about Airbnb Experiences, visit airbnb.com.au/experiences