Over the past few years AirBnb has been slowly moving into the peer-to-peer tours and activities space, allowing select members to offer tours that are offered to people when they book a place to stay with AirBnb. This is a logical extension of AirBnb’s peer to peer rental lodging business. People making bookings with AirBnb are mostly tourists, and so connecting them to potential activities in the place they are visiting is a gold mine of booking opportunities. More recently AirBnb integrated Trip4Real tours as offerings for people making bookings in Barcelona. And this week it was revealed that AirBnb is buying Trip4Real for an undisclosed cash price.
I think this purchase makes a lot of sense for AirBnb as there is no need for them to reinvent the wheel. Trip4Real has a solid business built around recruiting locals to provide tours and connecting travelers with these locals. The Trip4Real team can leverage the AirBnb resources to scale up and roll out services beyond Europe.
Last year I published an interview with Trip4Real founder Gloria Molins. She stressed their organic growth model as a key part of the success in offering quality experiences. It remains to be seen what will happen with this AirBnb integration, but Molins’ passion for connecting people through travel, and her excitement about the business of this young startup, may even be a positive influence on the AirBnb brand which has taken quite a beating over the past few years in markets around the world.