Airbnb Chief Wants To Change Tourism

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Airbnb Chief Wants To Change Tourism

Airbnb co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky has said that the tourism industry is "a little sick", and it plans to help it.

Chesky (pictured), speaking to the Financial Times, took aim at what he described as "mass tourism" (huge crowds at typical tourist spots) and suggested that Airbnb will aim to change this trend.

“Travel has gotten a little sick,” said Chesky. “No matter what you’re doing, you’re usually doing things that locals would never do.” The new version of the app hopes to change this, as host-generated recommendations will seek to take tourists off the beaten track.

Chesky also hinted at the company's plan to expand "beyond the home". It has been testing activities outside its usual house-sharing operations for a number of months, including walking tours and cooking classes.

The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2008 and has expanded rapidly. It hosted 15 million guests in the last three months alone, and is now valued at $24 billion. It is expected to generate $900 million in revenue this year.

The company has seen a number of challenges by regulatory committees and hotel pressure groups, including in France and New York.