Airbnb cofounder and chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharczyk has told Bloomberg TV Asia that that its future lies in "becoming in a platform for the entire trip."
When asked about the vision for Airbnb over the next five to ten years, he said:
"The biggest evolution of the strategy is to become a platform the entire trip, so no longer just about the accommodation, really trying to reinvent every aspect of travel."
Its only product other than accommodation is Airbnb Trips - which Blecharczyk described as "experiences". He said that, by helping individuals to share their passions ,Trips "allows people to travel more authentically, which is what we are about as a brand, so as we enter other aspects of travel, we'll be doing that."
The idea of Airbnb continuing to fly the flag for the "authentic" as it enters other aspects of the sector is intriguing. Bundling its accommodation with third-party flights via OTA-type dynamic packaging would be the obvious way for it to expand, but sits awkwardly with this idea of keeping the trip authentic. Flights are difficult to position within the mantra of keeping it real.
Elsewhere in the interview, which focuses on Asia as its biggest opportunity, he offered an olive branch to hotels, saying that they have "their own unique value proposition and will remain relevant indefinitely."
He also noted that its footprint within the business travel sector "has grown 6-X since we launched in 2016."
Click here for a link to a recording of the six-minutes-long interview.
Related reading from tnooz:
Airbnb signs partnership with Flight Centre’s corporate travel brands (Jun17)
Singing from the same songsheet? Airbnb Trips versus the current chart-toppers (Nov16)
Let the disruption really begin – Chesky hints at Airbnb API (Jun16)