AirBnB is a global P2P network that matches tourists with local residents who are offering cheap accommodations. Anyone who wishes to rent out a room, a part of their home or their whole house, for a period of a few hours up to a few days, can do so through AirBnB, without having to be registered as a tourist accommodation business,. The Company ensures that the information provided about the accommodations is as complete as possible, through good online images as well ratings by people that have stayed there. Each resident suggests an appropriate rate, based on the demand at a given time. In addition, they may offer extra services, such as preparing breakfast or acting as an impromptu tour guide.
This formula completely does away with intermediaries such as travel agencies, hotel reservation companies and tourist services. It enables residents to earn money from their homes and tourists to stay abroad for much cheaper than at hotels, while enjoying contact with locals.
A similar business model is being used by Vayable, an international tourism platform in which local residents offer tours of a specific nature based on their personal expertise or experience: for example, an architect can give a local architectural heritage tour; a former guerrilla can show the places in a forest where they used to hide; an epicure can take visitors around the city’s hidden gastronomic gems; or a professional sailor can be hired out to offer 1 day of training.
The two platforms have decided to collaborate, to jointly offer their services through a unified business model based on selling sensations and unique experiences that go far beyond traditional tourist services. As with any social platform, the prestige of each service is generated by the online comments and recommendations of its users.