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Airbnb Experiences - Vacation Rental Guide

There are many ways to host on Airbnb and until quite recently it always involved a property of some kind. As of 2016, the online travel portal launched Airbnb Experiences. This program is essentially a workshop of sorts and is aimed at bringing local flavor to travelers who use Airbnb.  

While this used to be a strictly physical experience as of April 2020, people were also able to host online. The OTP describes in-person or online activities hosted by inspiring local experts. It is a great way for the host on Airbnb’s platform to share their skills, hobbies, or interests with others around the world.

Criteria to be fulfilled by hosts to be listed as an Airbnb Experience: 

  • The host must be knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter 

  • The workshop must be curated such that it’s an interactive experience even if it is conducted online. 

  • The experience must consist of elements that make it one of a kind. 

Being an Airbnb experience host: 

Airbnb takes its experience feature quite seriously and makes experience ideas go through a thorough vetting process. You have to submit a form stating you want to host an experience in your city and it has to be approved. Expect a response from someone from Airbnb within two weeks. However, depending on the city and your particular specialty, you might hear back even sooner!  

Types of experience hosting 

Physical experiences are usually conducted by locals of an area. It could even be the host of the Airbnb rental who is giving the visitor this unique, specialized access to a particular experience in this region. 

Duration 

As far as duration goes experiences can be: 

  • Hourly classes 

  • One day experiences 

  • Cultural immersions – happens over a few days. 

When it comes to skill levels an experience must be able to cater to all skill levels. These workshops are set at a defined time and are open to locals and tourists alike.

Airbnb Experiences – host standards and requirements 

In order to maintain a high quality of service, Airbnb has set some standards and requirements that hosts must follow at all times alongside their community standards. Listed below are a few key requirements and standards to maintain when hosting an experience.

Hosting requirements: 

  • Guests must know exactly who will be hosting them. If you have others helping you host or manage the experience then they must be registered as a co-host or assistant via the Teams tool on your host dashboard. 

  • Guests must be accompanied by the host throughout the entirety of the experience and cannot be handed over to a third-party or left on their own. 

  • Once a host lists a time and date on Airbnb for their experience, they must allocate that time for only Airbnb guests and cannot include anyone else. 

  • In order to make every traveler feel welcome Airbnb does not allow hosts to put a minimum guest count on their experience. 

  • Hosts must abide by the health and safety guidelines especially when hosting in-person experiences. 

Hosting Commitments: 

  • Hosts must not cancel any reservations unless it is completely unavoidable, such as a safety concern, dangerous weather condition, or extenuating circumstance. Penalties may be applied according to the cancellation policy if it doesn’t meet certain criteria. 

  • Just like with property owners and managers, experience hosts too are required to maintain high overall ratings and guest engagement levels. Hosts with low overall ratings and reviews and inadequate amounts of page views and bookings may have their listings suspended and/or removed from Airbnb. 

Verification requirements: 

If the experience involves an activity that is technically specialized and requires documentation such as a license or certification, Airbnb will not display the experience unless: 

  • The host submits the requested documents to Airbnb’s validation partner Evident ID 

  • One or all of the documents are within the expiry date. 

  • The name on the document matches the name on the host’s Airbnb profile. 

  • The documents meet Airbnb’s license or insurance requirements.

Hosts profile requirements: 

  • Photographs that meet Airbnb’s photo quality standards. 

  • Experience must be listed by an individual and not an organization. 

  • The host’s profile picture must be a clear picture of the host and not a logo. 

  • The host’s profile name must be the host’s personal name and not a business name. Hosts should describe themselves in the “About Me” section of the experience page

Listing page requirements: 

  • Time and date and duration of the experience 

  • A clear itinerary of the experience, exactly what the guest will be doing. 

  • Clear address of where the host and guests will meet.  

  • What activities/souvenirs will be covered by the cost of the experience. 

  • Anything extra the guest has to bring (e.g.: extra money for food etc.)

In conclusion: 

With all kinds of experiences being added from an authentic pasta-making experience from native Italians to healing concerts in Japan, there are all kinds of experiences in the mix you really have your work cut out for you if you want to be seen. By being an experience host you can make some money by sharing with others something you’re passionate about and that is enriching to those that are coming to the area. It can not only provide a unique experience for your guests but also for you as a host.

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