Saturday, July 23, 2022

Airbnb's Vision for Future Travel


Fast Company - "Airbnb is launching its biggest redesign in a decade. Travel may never be the same"
By Mark Wilson

The other potential effect is on communities themselves. Airbnb has already impacted high tourist destinations: Areas like Sonoma are littered with Airbnb protest signs, posted by residents who are sick of rentals. A recent story in The New York Times demonstrated how Joshua Tree was getting flooded by cookie-cutter modernist rentals, which encroached on the serene desert landscape. I ask Chesky if he’s concerned that Airbnb’s redesign could bring similar problems to small town America, if it might over-popularize quiet areas at the expense of their identity.

“The reason a lot of people go to Sonoma is actually that Sonoma is super famous—as is Joshua Tree. And so people are typing in Sonoma and Joshua Tree into Airbnb,” says Chesky—who goes so far as to call Joshua Tree “the brand desert.” “I guess the point is that what we’re trying to do is move away from the place you think to type, to redistribute and spread out. If we send everyone to Geneva, Ohio, then yes, we will probably flood Geneva, Ohio. The point is, though, to not to send everyone to any one place, and not to limit search to the places people can think of.”

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