Airbnb announced today the addition of a new “Hawaii experiences” program, extending coverage for its popular Trips platform to 50 markets around the world. Designed to showcase the culture, history and cuisine of the Hawaiian Islands through the lens of its local hosts, the popular sharing-economy site currently offers over 100 new experiences to visitors to the state, from traditional hulu classes to a sunset sail with marine biologists from the Pacific Whale Foundation. Hawaii is the site’s second most popular state by guest arrivals after California.
In a report released last year, “Beyond Cities,” Airbnb offered research pointing to the impact of new hosting opportunities for property and landowners in more rural parts of the country. In 2015, Airbnb’s rural hosts earned $494 million, while some 3.3 million guest arrivals in the U.S. were recorded at these rural listings between February 2016 and February 2017.
Significantly, the expansion of Airbnb guest lodgings to more rural parts of the country in the past several years has, in many cases, overtaken the share of more traditional hotel lodgings in these rural areas. Over 18 percent of active Airbnb listings in the U.S. are considered rural, from off-grid cabins and intricate treehouses to farms and ranch homes abutting some of the country’s most treasured natural landscapes. In fact, Airbnb has partnered with the National Park Foundation, the nonprofit partner to the National Park Service, to make it easier for guests to find places to stay around ten signature parks across the United States.
Trish Crowe, the owner of a farm in the rolling countryside outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, is one such host who affirms the benefits of becoming an Airbnb host.
“It’s only been a good experience for us,” she notes of the impact of having guests stay in one of the cottages on her farm. “We have loved it, while people have loved the farm, having access to Shenandoah National Park, to the vineyards.”
For some guests, the rural Airbnb experience offers the opportunity to taste the land lifestyle in the company of locals who can share their insider knowledge about the best places to visit, eat and more.