Ready to connect with a community of travelers and locals interested in learning more about your world? Let’s dive into Airbnb’s quality standards for experiences and talk about ways you might showcase your strengths in your experience submission.
Hosts take travelers into their worlds, helping them feel like an insider, even if for just a few hours. Experiences in the Airbnb marketplace must meet Airbnb’s bar for quality; these standards set experiences apart from typical tours. To be published, an experience submission must demonstrate expertise, access, and hospitality. These standards help ensure that the market has high-quality experiences led by knowledgeable, hospitable hosts.
As you read more about these standards and think about your experience idea, here are a few things to keep in mind:
○ The best experiences build a culture of community—how will you make sure your guests feel like they belong?
○ Consider not only the knowledge you have of your subject matter but also what unique perspective you can bring to this topic or activity.
○ Let your imagination run free; experiences should feature something that guests couldn’t easily do on their own. Try differentiating your experience from existing tourist activities that are highly available.
Do you have a passion for a craft, activity, and/or your community? When designing your experience idea and submitting for review, this is a great place to start! In addition to passion, an expert host should consider what unique experience, credentials, or perspective they have on the main subject matter of their activity. Be sure to make this clear in your experience submission.
Here are three examples of how you might explain your expertise on a subject matter, with differing levels of success:
“I love calligraphy!” This statement doesn’t quite explain the details of how or why you’re an expert on the craft.
“I’ve studied calligraphy for five years and recently started teaching my friends.” This statement gives some helpful insight into what qualifies you to lead this experience.
“I teach calligraphy at the SF Asian Arts Center. I recently spoke at the International Calligraphy conference on ‘Calligraphy in the Digital Age.’ I’m a developer and my experience focuses on the intersection of tech and calligraphy.” This statement does a great job at demonstrating significant expertise in your subject matter.
Eleanor and Archef, of Cooking with Art!, have crafted an ‘About you’ section that does a great job highlighting their expertise.
About your host, Eleonora & Achref
Eleonora is a chef with over 15 years of international experience. She is a TV chef at Italia7 that loves sharing her knowledge with others. With passion she has followed her grandmother and mother steps, but she keeps updated, in fact beside her specialization as pastry chef, wine and food pairing, she is also a specialized Pizzaiolo. Her first cookbook has been realized in 2018.
Achref Chargui, considered one of the best Oud player, teaches music at the University of Tunis. Art director of El Jem World music Festival will share with you his knowledge and music and select the guests’ artist!
Do you have to be a master to host an experience? No! Just make sure to highlight what expertise you have that is relevant to the experience.
Another example from Anabel, host of Natural Dye Using Ancient Techniques in Mexico City, describes her expertise:
I’m a Mexican textile lover who studied fashion design and fiber arts in Barcelona. I came back to Mexico some years ago when I started learning natural dyes in Oaxaca where I fell in love with the vibrant hues of ancient textiles. Since then I have developed several projects including a brand of artisanal backpacks using some of the materials and methods we will cover in this workshop.
How do you define your expertise? In the end, you may want to consider why you’re the perfect person to host this particular experience.
An experience must offer access to something unique or otherwise inaccessible to the average tourist in order to be published on Airbnb. When submitting your experience, make sure to highlight what’s special about the locations you’ll visit with your guests. Think about how accessible these spots or communities would be to a typical traveler. Consider selecting locations or communities that provide special access.
I always start my tour by asking, ‘Why did you book this experience?’ People say that they were looking for an uncommon activity. What I offer them is something unique, something they couldn’t experience on their own. I tried to create a more interesting tour than what I saw out there already, and this has worked for me. – Gabriela, host of Get to know Little Africa
Here are some ways your experience may offer insider access:
○ Shares entry into a special place, like a local’s only watering hole or a hidden neighborhood garden
○ Introduces guests to people, communities, or activities they wouldn’t otherwise have access to
○ Offers a unique twist or angle on a typical or common tourist activity
Remember, these should be things guests wouldn’t usually be able to experience on their own.
Marvin, the host of Backyard Beekeeping, provides unique access to his own backyard, and also to local community gardens where guests can tour beehives in Los Angeles.
Make sure to highlight your own connection to these places or communities in your submission. Why are they special to you, and why would your guests also find them interesting? You may even want to consider sharing a lasting memory that relates to these places, something you could share with your guests.
A hospitable host is welcoming and thoughtful, creating moments of connection with their guests, and making them feel special along the way. When submitting your experience, highlight the ways you will consider the little details and ensure that guests feel safe, engaged and connected throughout the experience. This can range from bringing along water and snacks to offering a WiFi hotspot so your guests can share posts online throughout the experience.
Here are some questions to contemplate as you craft your experience idea:
○ How might you consider your guests’ needs like dietary considerations, accessibility, or even potential safety concerns?
○ What might you do if there are unforeseen situations, like a change in weather?
○ What might your guests feel or think differently at the end of this experience?
○ How do you take into account the comfort levels of a wide spectrum of guests from many different cultures?
Remember, all experiences must meet these quality standards in order to make it onto the Airbnb marketplace. The way you communicate each one of these qualities in your experience page matters. Here are the sections you’ll want to be sure to carefully highlight your unique expertise, access, and hospitality:
☐ ‘About you’ – Remember to share why you are a great person to host this experience, your level of expertise, and what makes you a thoughtful host.
☐ ‘What you’ll do’ and ‘Where you’ll be’ sections – Describe the unique access to locations or communities that you will provide; be specific! You’ll also want to consider questions guests might have and try to answer those in advance.
☐ ‘What I’ll provide’ section – Include anything special that you’ll include in the experience, from drinks and snacks to tickets that give guests access to an event.
☐ ‘What should guests bring with them’ and ‘What else do guests need to know before they book’ – These are great spots to identify and anticipate your guests’ needs and where you’ll bring hospitality into your experience.