San Francisco has become the first US city to forge a tourism partnership with Airbnb. Spearheaded by the San Francisco Travel Association (SFTravel), the pairing gives the home rental service provider new authority in the hospitality market at a time when demand for authentic, like a local experiences are fiercely anticipated. Airbnb’s 6,000 rental options in San Francisco also carve a unique angle out for meeting and incentive attendees seeking immersive neighborhood experiences in their host cities. With an average hotel occupancy rate averaging around 85 percent, SFTravel plans to connect Airbnb to its database of meeting and event planners with the goal of offering new immersive options during busy conventions and events.
For its part, SFTravel is wrapping the deal up nicely with tourism kits that include tools for local merchants and visitors, including guides on local neighborhoods, businesses and experiences across the city. The majority of Airbnb’s rentals reside outside of the main hotel districts, offering attendees a more diverse, and what both SFTravel and Airbnb dare call “meaningful,” experience of San Francisco. The San-Fran, Airbnb pairing also resonates well in the current sharing economy, which has people in all industries teaming up to facilitate a more sustainable way of living and working.
We at Prevue experimented with our own mini survey recently to assess whether you felt Airbnb had the chops to hold its own in the hotel industry. Despite a laundry list of concerns, the majority of those surveyed would give it a shot. Now we want to know: What do you think about this partnership?