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Vacation Rental News

Airbnb Co-Founder Wants to Offer All Forms of Travel

Skift

Nathan Blecharczyk, an Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, spoke in the Skift Take Studio. Skift

Skift Take: Airbnb has been moving beyond homesharing for awhile now. After venturing into experiences and dining, what part of travel will the company tackle next?

— Hannah Sampson

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of video interviews from the Skift Take Studio, presented by KDS, that were filmed at last year’s Skift Global Forum.

During the 2017 Skift Global Forum in September in New York City, we heard from a host of the travel industry’s top leaders from across every sector.

And after first speaking to them on stage in front of an audience of more than 1,100, we took another few minutes with them to get more insight in our backstage Skift Take Studio.

In our behind-the-scenes conversation, Nathan Blecharczyk, an Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, shared his thoughts about the homesharing company branching out into restaurant reservations, trying to become a go-to site for a diverse set of travel needs, and the importance of attracting business travelers.

Business travelers made up about 10 percent of Airbnb’s business in the early days, a number that has increased to 15 percent, Blecharczyk said.

“If you’re on that business trip for a week or more, you really do value the feeling of home,” he said. “We also see a lot of people combining business and leisure, we see a lot of people adding on the weekend, staying the weekend and exploring a little bit.”

He said the company’s expansion into experiences and, in September, restaurants, are indicative of Airbnb’s ambitions to play a bigger role in travel.

“This vision of becoming a platform for the entire trip is a really huge one,” he said. “And we’ve only just started, with homes, experiences, and now restaurants. But everything else that you need when you travel we think belongs in the Airbnb app. We want to be that one-stop shop.”

Watch all the Skift Take Studio videos here.

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