Airbnb is selling $5,000 rafting tours and other adventures

Image result for Airbnb is selling $5,000 rafting tours and other adventuresNew York (CNN Business)Airbnb is adding trip packages as it evolves into a full-fledged travel company.

The home-sharing company on Thursday launched Airbnb Adventures, which it describes as a collection of “bucket list worthy multi-day experiences” in places around the world. The packages vary widely in price, depending on the length and location of the tour.
For example, a 10-day rafting trip in Yukon costs $5,000 per person. For $1,000 per person, there’s an overnight camping trip with a tent on the edge of a cliff in Colorado. On the lower end, a 3-day bushwalk trek in Kenya is priced at $199 per person. Trips can be as short as one night and as long as 11.
Airbnb is entering a crowded space dominated by other companies, including Contiki and G Adventures. But Airbnb, which is worth about $31 billion, is transitioning its business model from exclusively renting homes and apartments into building a platform that helps people with all aspects of travel, including where to stay, what to do and how to get there.
Adding Adventures helps Airbnb diversify as it gears up to go public. Airbnb cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky has previously said that the company could potentially go public “later this year.”
There are 200 adventure trips to choose from with more being added throughout 2019. The packages include local guides, lodging, food and transportation within the trip. Transportation costs to and from the tour, like airfare, are not included in the package. And trips are capped at 12 guests.
The tours are exclusive to Airbnb and provided by local operators “that are not typically found on any other major booking platform,” the company said in a release.
It already offers Airbnb Experiences, which are cheaper and shorter guided tours and activities.
To celebrate the launch, Airbnb is offering a “Around the World in 80 Days” trip based on the Jules Verne novel. The 80-day trip costs $5,000 and spans 18 countries, beginning in England and ending in Iceland.
“With more travelers seeking adventure than ever before, Airbnb is looking to democratize the industry, offering more attainable experiences that are designed to unlock the power of nature, are led by locals and cater to a breadth of interests and abilities,” it said in the release.
In March, Airbnb bought HotelTonight, a last-minute hotel booking startup, to help bolster its boutique hotel business. Days later, Airbnb took part in a funding round of OYO, an Indian hotel chain that wants to become the world’s biggest within five years.
Airbnb is also facing competition, not just from direct rivals like HomeAway and VRBO, but companies it sought to disrupt.
Marriott announced in April it’s entering the space and launching an Airbnb-like rental service, called Homes & Villas by Marriott International, that focuses on upscale properties.