How To Boost Your Income By Hosting Airbnb Experiences

By Nechama Rausman | March 31, 2022

If you are looking to expand your hosting business, you don’t necessarily need to purchase another property. Another option to consider is to host an experience. Airbnb Experiences is a completely separate program in which hosts offer travelers a unique and different kind of travel experience. For the right kind of hosts looking to boost their visibility and potential revenue, Airbnb Experiences can be a fantastic addition to their offerings. 

What is an Airbnb Experience?

Since 2016, Airbnb has given hosts a different kind of opportunity to take a hands-on part in the travel experience by sharing their expertise or knowledge of local heritage as an additional offering (and source of income). You don’t have to have a rental to become an Airbnb Experience host, you just have to have a talent, passion or expertise that you want to share.

Airbnb Experiences offers travelers unique activities, hosted by experts in a variety of interests from local cooking and dining, to animal encounters, to music, history, culture or even multi-day tours and adventures. The activities are intended to be high-quality experiences that enrich guests’ exposure to local culture or provide entertainment or interactive encounters. Since 2020 and the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on travel, Airbnb has also added the option of online experiences using Zoom video conferencing software. There are hundreds of experiences offered all over the world.

Hosting a local cooking class through Airbnb Experiences.
Give local tourists a taste of local culture with your expertise.

How Much Does Airbnb Charge for Experiences?

Just like the Airbnb short-term rental platform, guests pay the hosts through the platform and Airbnb takes a percentage of the payment. The price of an Airbnb experience varies widely, depending on the nature and length of the activity. There are options for as little as $50 and up to almost $8000. Hosts set their own prices but need to keep in mind that Airbnb typically charges a 20% service fee. This fee is intended to cover various costs they include for any products, services, and support they provide, including maintaining liability insurance. Here’s an article on their site to learn more about why Airbnb charges this fee

How Do I Start an Airbnb Experience?

Starting an Airbnb Experience isn’t for everyone. You need to have a skill or background in something specific in order to be accepted by Airbnb. They are looking for something that goes beyond the typical tour or class that can be offered by any local, with the hopes of providing an activity that is truly unique and cultural. The idea is to bring in experts that will involve guests in something that they can’t find in other places.

Some additional technical requirements are that you have to have a registered business and operate in an area that Airbnb offers experiences. These details should definitely be checked out before you begin to move ahead with your idea. 

How Do I Promote My Airbnb Experience?

Part of the benefit of hosting an experience on Airbnb is that it will be promoted via the Airbnb platform, however you can get much more exposure to drive bookings, especially at the beginning, by promoting it on your own as well.

Using your network of friends, family and acquaintances, start spreading the word in any way possible that you are open for business by inviting them to book. Send emails or messages to your contacts introducing the idea. Get active on social media and community and travel forums and encourage participants to share their experiences and recommendations in relevant places as well. You may want to consider offering a discount or promotion at the beginning to build up a client base or to friends and family to help you spread the word.    

Group hiking in a beautiful landscape during an Airbnb Experience.
Turn your passion into an Airbnb Experience

The Benefits of Hosting Airbnb Experiences

As opposed to hosting an activity on your own, Airbnb provides not only the platform to promote and streamline your guest’s experience but also resources to help you succeed. This includes articles and resources with tips on how to deliver a better experience, as well as a dashboard to give you insights and provide feedback on how you can improve. You also get 24/7 customer support for both you and your guests, an integrated payment system and visibility to guests all over the world. 

When you are already hosting guests at your property, you have a natural pool of potential customers to join in your experience. Additionally, while you are limited by the number of guests you can fit in your rental, you can likely accommodate many participants in an experience and get more bang for your buck. Adding an experience on to your offering can be a natural and often lucrative addition to your hosting enterprise as you can bring in travelers and provide a comprehensive travel experience. 

How Do I Find Airbnb Experiences?

It’s very easy for you as a host to get ideas and see what’s out there or for potential participants to find you once you are listing your experience. The Airbnb Experience site is just as easy and user-friendly as the Airbnb short-term rental platform and allows you to filter and search for keywords based on your needs and preferences. To upload your listing, you can get started here at the Airbnb Experience hosting website. 

The Importance of Reviews

Similar to your short-term rental business, reviews play a critical role in the success of your Airbnb Experience listing. Perhaps even more so. Airbnb strives to provide extremely unique and professional activities and will uphold you to these standards. Here are some tips on how to up your hosting in general to make happy patrons who leave 5-star reviews.  

If you enjoy the aspect of interacting with your guests and sharing parts of the local culture, becoming an Airbnb Experience host can be a great opportunity. Adding this to your rental can help you to become a sought after destination during people’s travels. 

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