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As you might know from launching your own experience, ramping up to a fully booked schedule of new guests isn’t a small task. Offering a high-quality experience that guests get excited about is only one part of the equation. Many hosts are working in their communities to promote their ventures, and you might wonder what we’re doing behind the scenes to drive more guests your way. Read on to hear more about some of the initiatives we’ve undertaken this year to help increase awareness and bookings for hosts!

Growing Globally

We’re launching experiences in new locations at a record rate, expanding to over 1000 destinations by the end of the year. What does this mean for you? When we launch in new markets, exposure grows. Here are just a few things you might see as we expand and promote experiences:

  • Local and global media outlets get access to new markets and help us share this news with the world.
  • When Experiences launch in a new city, locals will now be more aware and consider booking a few when they travel to you!

Tapping Into Existing Guests

Guests have checked into an Airbnb more than 300 million times, and we’re just getting started. Behind-the-scenes, we’re looking at natural ways we can help our existing Airbnb guests find your experiences.

Ten years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become. In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other’s homes was crazy. Today, millions of people every night do just that. But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in 10 years time, more than 1 billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb.

Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO, and Head of Community, Brian Chesky

How do we help guests booking homes become aware of experiences they could go on when they travel? Our team looked at the entire virtual path that guests take when booking a home on Airbnb and thought about how we could surface experiences along their journey.

First, a little about our team: we rely heavily on experimentation and have a strong “test and learn” culture. In 2017, we ran more than 2,500 A/B tests, or ‘experiments,’ on our platform. We run these tests to ensure we are rolling out features that work for our hosts and guests.

Here’s an example of one experiment: when certain guests booked a stay in a home, they were then shown “things to do” during their visit. As you can see in the screenshot below, we highlighted experience categories and shared a carousel of experiences the guest might be interested in booking.  

We tested a similar feature in our mobile app: Guests who recently booked a home through Airbnb saw a variety of experiences in the Airbnb app.

When guests viewed these experiments, the results were impressive! We saw an increase in bookings when we surfaced experiences to guests who recently booked a stay on Airbnb. When running these tests, we also noticed guests were more likely to share experiences with their networks.

These are just a few ways we test recommending “things to do” during a guest’s stay. With these experiments, we aim to surface experiences that may be relevant and attractive to guests. To do this, we consider many signals, including location and a guest’s check in and check out dates.  We’re continually tweaking our approach to make our recommendations better and better.

Host Tip: To ensure you’re doing all you can to be included in these suggestions to guests, review your availability. The more dates your experience is available, the more likely you’ll show up in a guest’s search or in one of our experiments. Check out these 3 simple steps to more bookings for more details.

Making Booking Easier

Our team carefully considers how our platform performs, and especially how easy we make it for your guests to book your experience. The easier this process is, the more likely a guest is to complete a booking. We’ve recently tested reducing the number of steps a guest has to take to complete checkout. In the past, a guest had to click through three pages to book your experience. Now, they can check out entirely on just one page.

These are only a handful of the tests like these we’ve been working on this year so far. Almost every product change we make is based on experiments like these. We run tests to determine their impact in advance, which helps ensure we roll out features safely and prudently.

Creative Partnerships

Blue Apron Airbnb Experiences

Our marketing team is also working on innovative ways to drive new guests to experiences. We recently teamed up with Blue Apron, the largest meal kit service in the United States, to help promote experiences to a new audience. Through this partnership, Blue Apron’s culinary team is working with hosts to bring new recipes and meals to their customers. Along with step-by-step instructions and all necessary ingredients, each meal kit will ship with a beautifully designed recipe card which will highlight a host and their experience, as well as promotional info about Airbnb Experiences.

We are thrilled to partner with Airbnb, where we have a unique opportunity to bring their expertise in local experiences together with our core product to teach our customers how to create meals from cities that are influencing food culture around the world today. – Christine Fu, Head of Partnerships for Blue Apron

This is a small selection of initiatives in the works! Stay tuned for more updates and insights as we continue to try to help hosts be more successful and bring belonging to more guests. We’re in this together––we would love to hear your ideas and feedback. Share your suggestions with us; we’re listening.