Airbus A321LR takes maiden flight

Airbus A321LR

Airbus has completed the first flight of its forthcoming A321LR aircraft, ahead of a targeted entry into service of the fourth quarter of 2018.

The flight lasted two hours and 36 minutes, and will now be followed by around 100 hours of flight tests, including transatlantic flights, in order to obtain its EASA and FAA certifications.

The A321LR features a new door configuration, enabling customers to operate the aircraft with up to 240 passengers. Airbus’ latest Airspace by Airbus cabin is also available on the aircraft.

The single-aisled plane has a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles, thanks to a third Additional Centre Fuel Tank (ACT), allowing it to operate routes such as New York-Paris, Lisbon-Recife, Dubai-Beijing, Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo and Singapore-Sydney.

A320 neo family of aircraft has attracted over 1,900 orders from over 50 customers. Forthcoming operators of the A321LR include Norwegian, Air Transat and Aer Lingus.

Last year Business Traveller’s consumer editor Alex McWhirter reported on the growing trend of single-aisle aircraft operating long-haul routes.

Boeing’s new-generation B737 Max 8 has a smaller range than the A321LR, but is still able to operate some transatlantic routes, and has begun deliveries to carriers including NorwegianWestjet and Flydubai.

airbus.com

Passport fees face steep rise for postal applications

UK passport (iStock)

The UK government has announced plans to increase the cost of most passports, with postal applications rising particularly steeply.

The changes – set to come into effect on March 27 providing they are approved by Parliament – will see the cost of a standard adult passport applied for by post rise from £72.50 to £85, an increase of 17 per cent.

Postal applications for child passports will increase from £46 to £58.50, a hike of 27 per cent.

But it’s not all bad news – the rise in fees for online applications will be much smaller. An adult online application will increase by just £3, from £72.50 to £75.50, and online applications for the larger 50-page passports will see fees frozen at £85.50.

The Home Office said that the proposed changes were “part of its push to increase the use of online services and its ambition to create a self-sustainable immigration and borders system”.

It also stresses that “Adults choosing to apply online would still be paying less than they would have in 2009, with passport fees having decreased in 2012”.

According to a press release the proposals, which are part of plans to invest £100 million on border security and infrastructure next year, “would mean the money collected through fees will contribute to the cost of processing British passport holders as they travel in and out of the country, shifting the burden for paying for these services away from the taxpayer – millions of whom do not currently hold passports”.

The Home Office also added that the new fees “are unrelated to the announcement that the colour of the UK passport will be changing in 2019, which will be delivered at no additional cost”.

gov.uk

Scandic Hotels relaunches loyalty programme

Scandic Friends

Scandic Hotels has relanched its loyalty scheme, with new partnerships and added ways to redeem points.

The Scandic Friends programme was originally launched in 2008, and is the largest hotel loyalty scheme in the Nordic region.

Members can now use points as part payment for reward nights, or against extras such as food drink.

New redemption partners include American Express, Hertz, SAS Eurobonus and Live Nation, and members can choose to donate points to Save The Children.

Members can also earn both Scandic and Partner points on the same stay (except with SAS Eurobonus).

The scheme has five levels – Level 1, 2 and 3, Top level, and the elite Red Level. Benefits for higher tier members include late checkout, room upgrades and free gym access when not staying at the hotel (all for Level 3 members and above).

All members also benefit from 20 per cent discount on weekend rates, and 10 per cent off food at the weekends.

There is also currently a 500-point bonus for new members – for more information visit scandichotels.com/scandic-friends.

At the same time Scandic has launched a new app, allowing guests to book rooms at any Scandic hotel in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany or Poland, as well as keep track of bookings and loyalty points, navigate to hotels, and view restaurant menus.

The app is available in English, Danish, Finish, German, Norwegian and Swedish, via the App Store or Google Play.

scandichotels.com

Etihad reduces checked luggage allowance on premium fares

Etihad A380 BUSINESS_STUDIO

Etihad Airways has revamped its checked luggage policy, in a move which will see the allowance reduced for some fares.

The carrier has moved from a number of bags to a total weight policy, which it says will simplify the system.

The general policy (although note that Etihad does operate different policies on some routes including to the US and Africa) for flights booked from today is now as follows:

  • A total of 23kg on Economy Deal fares
  • A total of 30kg on Economy Saver and Classic fares
  • A total of 35kg on Economy Flex fares
  • A total of 40kg on all business class fares
  • A total of 50kg on all first class fares

Guests in The Residence on Etihad’s A380 services have an allowance of four bags at 32kg each.

When compared with the previous policy (still valid for any flights booked before January 31), Economy Deals passengers see no change (previous allowance was one bag up to 23kg), while Economy Saver travellers actually see their allowance rise by 7kg (from the previous one bag up to 23kg).

But Economy Classic customers see their allowance fall by 16kg (previously two bags up to 23kg each), and Economy Flex passengers see their allowance reduced by 11kg (previously two bags up to 23kg).

Business class customers see the biggest fall in allowance, down by 24kg from two bags weighing up to 32kg each (effectively 64kg) to the new allowance of 40kg in total.

And finally first class travellers see their allowance fall by 14kg, from two bags weighing up to 32kg each (effectively 64kg) to the new allowance of 50kg in total.

Etihad Guest Silver, Gold and Platinum members continue to receive a complimentary excess baggage allowance of 32kg on US and Canada routes, and 20kg for Platinum members, 15kg for Gold members and 10kg for Silver members on all other routes.

Commenting on the move Etihad Airways executive vice president commercial, Mohammad Al Bulooki, said:

“In line with global best practice and market trends, Etihad Airways has developed a baggage policy that best caters to the differing needs of our guests around the world. The switch to a policy based on weight rather than the number of bags simplifies our allowance system and provides greater convenience and customer benefit while enhancing the travel experience.”

etihad.com

Four Seasons to launch new hotel and private residences in Bengaluru

Four Seasons to launch new hotel and private residences in Bengaluru

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Embassy Group have announced the opening of a new Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences later this year in Bengaluru.  The property will be the second Four Seasons hotel in India after Mumbai.

This project will consist of three new buildings; the 230-key hotel will be located in the South Tower and will be designed by HKS Architects; the 105 private residences will occupy the 30-storey North Tower; the third building will house office and retail space.

Strategically located, the buildings will be a short drive from Bengaluru International Airport and will be well-connected to business districts of the city, Bengaluru Palace and Cubbon Park.

The hotel will have three F&B outlets including a 24-hour restaurant, a lobby lounge and bar and an Asian brasserie and bar.  Leisure facilities will include a spa and salon, and a fitness centre.

The property will also feature a swimming pool and waterfall, a butterfly garden and ribbon lawn that will located between the North and South Towers.

Commenting on why the city has been chosen for the next Indian venture of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, J. Allen Smith, president and CEO at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts says, “Bengaluru is a very exciting city, in part through the tremendous progress of industry, technology, research and education, with just as much to offer in the way of culture and nightlife.”

fourseasons.com

Jazreen Deboo 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Embassy Group have announced the opening of a new Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences later this year in Bengaluru.  The property will be the second Four Seasons hotel in India after Mumbai.

This project will consist of three new buildings; the 230-key hotel will be located in the South Tower and will be designed by HKS Architects; the 105 private residences will occupy the 30-storey North Tower; the third building will house office and retail space.

Strategically located, the buildings will be a short drive from Bengaluru International Airport and will be well-connected to business districts of the city, Bengaluru Palace and Cubbon Park.

The hotel will have three F&B outlets including a 24-hour restaurant, a lobby lounge and bar and an Asian brasserie and bar.  Leisure facilities will include a spa and salon, and a fitness centre.

The property will also feature a swimming pool and waterfall, a butterfly garden and ribbon lawn that will located between the North and South Towers.

Commenting on why the city has been chosen for the next Indian venture of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, J. Allen Smith, president and CEO at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts says, “Bengaluru is a very exciting city, in part through the tremendous progress of industry, technology, research and education, with just as much to offer in the way of culture and nightlife.”

fourseasons.com

Jazreen Deboo 

Hainan Airlines and Tianjin Airlines both launch Sydney routes

Sydney Harbour Bridge climb

Chinese carriers Hainan Airlines and Tianjin Airlines both launched new services to Sydney on Tuesday, with the former connecting the New South Wales capital with Haikou and the latter with Zhengzhou.

Hainan Airlines’ flights will operate two days per week using the airline’s Airbus A330-300, featuring the airline’s older layout and seat products – Hainan Airlines unveiled its new business class and economy seats for the A330-300 last year. The older variant features 32 fully flat seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration, along with 260 economy seats laid out 2-4-2.

Flights depart Haikou at 1850 and arrive in Sydney the following morning at 0715, while the return flight leaves Sydney at 0915 and arrives back in Haikou at 1555.

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
HU447 Haikou Sydney 1850 0715+1 Tue, Sun
HU448 Sydney Haikou 0915 1555 Mon, Wed

The Tianjin Airlines service between Zhengzhou and Sydney as part of a Tianjin-Zhengzhou-Sydney routing is similarly a twice-per-week flight, though this will be flown by its 260-seat A330-200. These feature 18 Zodiac Aura Lite seats in a 2-2-2 layout in business class, with a seat pitch of 75 inches, width of 21 inches and can recline to a 78-inch-long fully flat bed. Economy is laid out 2-4-2 with 242 seats in total, with a pitch of 32 inches and a width of 18 inches.

The service departs Zhengzhou at 1650 and arrives in Sydney the next morning at 0630, while the return leg takes off from Sydney at 0830 and lands in Zhengzhou at 1625.

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
GS3939 Zhengzhou Sydney 1650 0630+1 Mon, Fri
GS3940 Sydney Zhengzhou 0830 1625 Tue, Sat

A number of Chinese carriers have been targeting Australian destinations over the past 12 months, with Hainan Airlines launching flights between Shenzhen and Cairns in December last year and Tianjin Airlines making its Australia debut with flights between Chongqing and Melbourne taking off last November. Both carriers are subsidiaries of the HNA Airlines.

Earlier this month the Governor of Hainan province, Shen Xiaoming, stated the authorities’ goal of opening at least 100 new international air routes serving the province within the next five years. Haikou is the capital city of Hainan province.

hainanairlines.com; tianjin-air.com

SpiceJet announces 20 new domestic flights

SpiceJet announces 20 new flights on domestic routes

Low cost carrier, SpiceJet has introduced 20 new non-stop domestic flights starting February 11, 2018.

In tune with the airlines regional connectivity theme, the new flights link metro cities to tier II cities.

SpiceJet has announced daily direct flights between Kolkata and Jabalpur, and Bengaluru and Puducherry.

Daily non-stop services between Bengaluru and Rajahmundry, Chennai and Mangaluru, Bengaluru and Tirupati, and Guwahati and Chennai routes will also commence March 1, 2018 onwards.

The airline also plans to add four additional frequencies between Chennai and Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam, Bengaluru and Chennai, and Chennai and Vijayawada on all days of the week except Tuesdays.

The airline will deploy its Bombardier Q400 aircraft on all routes except for the Chennai–Guwahati route, which will be served by its Boeing 737 aircraft.

“Enhanced connectivity remains at the core of SpiceJet and we aim to further expand our network by connecting more non-metro destinations with metro destinations in the current year,” says chief sales and revenue officer at SpiceJet Shilpa Bhatia.

Flight Schedule is as follows:

Flight No. Origin Destination Departure Arrival Effective from Days of operation
SG 3615 Chennai Vishakhapatnam 1115 1245  Feb 11 Daily
SG 3612 Vishakhapatnam Chennai 0845 1015 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3613 Kolkata Jabalpur 1520 1720 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3614 Jabalpur Kolkata 1740 1935 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3611 Kolkata Vishakhapatnam 1820 2015 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3616 Vishakhapatnam Kolkata 1310 1450 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3429 Bengaluru Rajahmundry 1905 2030  Feb 15 Daily
SG 3430 Rajahmundry Bengaluru 2050 2220 Feb 15 Daily
SG 3425 Bengaluru Chennai 1240 1340 Feb 15 Except Tuesdays
SG 3426 Chennai Bengaluru 1405 1505 Feb 15 Except Tuesdays
SG 3419 Bengaluru Pudducherry 0940 1030 Feb 15 Daily
SG 3420 Pudducherry Bengaluru 1050 1210 Feb 15 Daily
SG 2895 Chennai Mangalore 1120 1245  Mar 1 Daily
SG 2896 Mangalore Chennai 1305 1345 Mar 1 Daily
SG 2893 Chennai Vijayawada 0810 0915 Mar 1 Daily
SG 2894 Vijayawada Chennai 0935 1050 Mar 1 Daily
SG 3427 Bengaluru Tirupati 1540 1630 Mar 1 Except Tuesdays
SG 3428 Tirupati Bengaluru 1700 1800 Mar 1 Except Tuesdays
SG 845 Guwahati Chennai 0955 1315 Mar 1 Daily
SG 856 Chennai Guwahati 1435 1735 Mar 1 Daily

spicejet.com

Jazreen Deboo

Low cost carrier, SpiceJet has introduced 20 new non-stop domestic flights starting February 11, 2018.

In tune with the airlines regional connectivity theme, the new flights link metro cities to tier II cities.

SpiceJet has announced daily direct flights between Kolkata and Jabalpur, and Bengaluru and Puducherry.

Daily non-stop services between Bengaluru and Rajahmundry, Chennai and Mangaluru, Bengaluru and Tirupati, and Guwahati and Chennai routes will also commence March 1, 2018 onwards.

The airline also plans to add four additional frequencies between Chennai and Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam, Bengaluru and Chennai, and Chennai and Vijayawada on all days of the week except Tuesdays.

The airline will deploy its Bombardier Q400 aircraft on all routes except for the Chennai–Guwahati route, which will be served by its Boeing 737 aircraft.

“Enhanced connectivity remains at the core of SpiceJet and we aim to further expand our network by connecting more non-metro destinations with metro destinations in the current year,” says chief sales and revenue officer at SpiceJet Shilpa Bhatia.

Flight Schedule is as follows:

Flight No. Origin Destination Departure Arrival Effective from Days of operation
SG 3615 Chennai Vishakhapatnam 1115 1245  Feb 11 Daily
SG 3612 Vishakhapatnam Chennai 0845 1015 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3613 Kolkata Jabalpur 1520 1720 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3614 Jabalpur Kolkata 1740 1935 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3611 Kolkata Vishakhapatnam 1820 2015 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3616 Vishakhapatnam Kolkata 1310 1450 Feb 11 Daily
SG 3429 Bengaluru Rajahmundry 1905 2030  Feb 15 Daily
SG 3430 Rajahmundry Bengaluru 2050 2220 Feb 15 Daily
SG 3425 Bengaluru Chennai 1240 1340 Feb 15 Except Tuesdays
SG 3426 Chennai Bengaluru 1405 1505 Feb 15 Except Tuesdays
SG 3419 Bengaluru Pudducherry 0940 1030 Feb 15 Daily
SG 3420 Pudducherry Bengaluru 1050 1210 Feb 15 Daily
SG 2895 Chennai Mangalore 1120 1245  Mar 1 Daily
SG 2896 Mangalore Chennai 1305 1345 Mar 1 Daily
SG 2893 Chennai Vijayawada 0810 0915 Mar 1 Daily
SG 2894 Vijayawada Chennai 0935 1050 Mar 1 Daily
SG 3427 Bengaluru Tirupati 1540 1630 Mar 1 Except Tuesdays
SG 3428 Tirupati Bengaluru 1700 1800 Mar 1 Except Tuesdays
SG 845 Guwahati Chennai 0955 1315 Mar 1 Daily
SG 856 Chennai Guwahati 1435 1735 Mar 1 Daily

spicejet.com

Jazreen Deboo

Hilton and American Express roll out new co-branded credit cards

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors members can grab between 50,000 and 100,000 bonus Points when signing up for its newly available Hilton Honors American Express co-branded credit cards.

The two companies currently have four cards in their portfolio, available for consumers and small business owners. These include the Hilton Honors American Express Card, Ascend Card, Business Card and Aspire Card.

Hilton Honors members are eligible to receive a varying number of bonus points dependent upon their spend and the type of card they sign up for, including both sign-up bonuses and multipliers when using the card.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • This is the standard card, and allows Hilton Honors members to earn 50,000 bonus points after spending US$1,000 in the first three months.
  • Get 7x bonus points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases with a Hilton property using the card.
  • Get 5x bonus points for each dollar spent at select restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations in the US using the card.
  • Get 3x bonus points for all other purchases using the card.

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

  • Allows for a bonus of 75,000 points after spending US$2,000 in the first three months, along with an extra 25,000 bonus points after spending an additional US$1,000 in the first six months, for a potential total of 100,000 bonus points.
  • Get 12x bonus points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases with a Hilton property using the card.
  • Get 6x bonus points for each dollar spent at select restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations in the US using the card.
  • Get 3x bonus points for all other purchases using the card.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • Also allows for a bonus of 75,000 points, but after spending US$3,000 in the first three months, along with the additional 25,000 bonus points for spending another US$1,000 in the first six months, for a potential total of 100,000 bonus points.
  • Get 12x bonus points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases with a Hilton property using the card.
  • Get 6x bonus points for each dollar spent at petrol stations, restaurants and wireless telephone services in the US and US purchases for shipping.
  • Get 6x bonus points for each dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with amextravel.com, and car rentals from select companies.
  • Get 3x bonus points for all other purchases using the card.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • Offers a flat bonus of 100,000 points after spending US$4,000 in the first three months.
  • Get 14x bonus points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases with a Hilton property using the card.
  • Get 7x bonus points for each dollar spent at select restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations in the US using the card.
  • Get 3x bonus points for all other purchases using the card.

According to Mark Weinstein, Hilton’s senior vice president and global head of customer engagement, loyalty and partnerships, the new card portfolio is intended to give “every type of traveller more personalised access, benefits, service and ways to earn points”.

hilton.com; online.americanexpress.com

Four Hong Kong restaurants reviewed

Kishoku Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong

Terroir Parisien

Opened in August 2017 in the high-end Prince’s Building in Central district, Terroir Parisien is the first Hong Kong restaurant of Yannick Alleno, whose restaurant Alleno Paris in France has accumulated three Michelin stars.

That said, his Hong Kong debut outing is less of an ultra-fine-dining affair and more of a cheerful bistro-style eatery. Expect staples such as onion soup and oven-roasted Camembert for starters, and hearty sea scallops cooked over simmered rice pilaf and spring lamb shoulder “navarin” for mains.

As is befitting the establishment, service is efficient but also friendly and somewhat casual, and at HK$1,500 (US$192) for a three-course meal for two with house wine and coffee, it’s a fine choice for a semi-formal but impressive dinner.

Hours: Open every day for lunch 11.30am-2.30pm, for dinner 6-10.30pm
Location: Shop M20-M24, Mezzanine Floor, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central
Contact: (+852) 2522 9990; yannick-alleno.com

Kishoku

While it’s been around for the better part of five years, Japanese restaurant Kishoku on Yiu Wa Street in the bustling Causeway Bay retail district knows how to mix it up. Despite having made a name for itself as an authentic omakase restaurant, Kishoku has ventured into other cuisines as part of special menus.

One such menu is its Winter Hotpot Dinner set meal, which we sampled. Comprising six courses for between HK$880 (US$113) and HK$1,080 (US$138), depending on the type of hot pot chosen, the restaurant offers up a medley of meat and seafood dishes presented in a distinctly autumnal style. The Wagyu beef hotpot in particular is a highlight, though even the chilled miso toru (tuna) that you get as an appetiser is delicate and full of flavour.

The set is best accompanied by a gin and tonic prepared using the restaurant’s own signature infused gins, developed together with mixologist Antonio Lai who’s behind popular cocktail bars Origin and Quinary. While this doesn’t come as part of the set, it’s worth trying if you’re a gin lover.

Hours: 12pm-3pm; 6pm-11pm
Location: 5th floor, Bigfoot Centre, 38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Contact: (+852) 2893 0333; kishoku.hk

Tiffin

One of the nine F&B offerings located at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong in Wan Chai district, Tiffin has been serving up an international buffet since 1989, but in October last year the restaurant reopened following a five-month refurbishment.

Retaining much of its former classic European aesthetic, the revamped restaurant also still has live jazz throughout the evening service. However a notable difference is the expansion of the chocolatier counter situated just outside the restaurant, which now acts as a sort of café area with tables and chairs.

New to the buffet is the selection of freshly shucked oysters – there are six kinds in total – along with mussels, prawns and escargot. However, the star of the buffet is arguably the beef Wellington, which is beautifully pink on the inside and wrapped in a soft filo pastry. On the drinks side, Tiffin has partnered with an independent tea brand to create 10 bespoke teas for the restaurant, presented in a wooden “treasure box”.

Dinner buffet comes to HK$728 (US$93) per adult, plus a 10 per cent service charge, with a free-flow drinks package able to be added on for HK$218 (US$28) per person.

Hours: Lunch 12-2.30pm, Mon-Sat (Sunday brunch: 11am-2.30pm); Afternoon tea 3.30pm-5.30pm; Dinner: 6.30pm-10pm
Location: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Contact: (+852) 2584 7722; hongkong.grand.hyatt.com

Fang Fang

Opened last summer in the heart of Hong Kong’s bustling nightlife district, Lan Kwai Fong, Fang Fang is a contemporary Asian restaurant driven by head chef Kent Lee, the former executive chef of Michelin-starred Hakkasan, who in the past has cooked for the likes of President Obama.

The venue is divided into two sections, a bar with seating and a restaurant with live music, each exuding an Asian-inspired design aesthetic, from its black “dragonscale” walls to the subtle lion door knockers adorning the leather armchairs.

Most recently, Fang Fang has launched a new dim sum menu with particular highlights including  crisp, garlicky spring rolls as well as the scallop and prawn dumplings and succulent siu mai. The drinks are also worth a visit in themselves, each being based on the five elements of traditional Chinese philosophy (metal, wood, earth, fire and water). Be sure to try the fiery “Omikuji Girl” cocktail.

Small bites from HK$98 (US$12.5) to HK$198 (US$25); mains from HK$165 (US$21) up; drinks from HK$110 (US$14) up.

Hours: Lunch: 12pm-3pm Mon-Fri; brunch: 12pm-3pm Sunday; Dinner: 6pm-11pm Mon-Thurs, 6pm-11.30pm Fri & Sat, 6pm-10.30pm Sunday; Bar: 5pm till late every day
Location: 
8/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
Contact:
 +852 2983 9083; fangfang.com.hk

Airbnb “Experiences” planned for more US cities

Airbnb experience swim like a mermaid

Airbnb Will Bring ‘Experiences’ to Hundreds More U.S. Cities

 

By Bob Curley

 

Airbnb announced that it will spend $5 million to expand its “Airbnb Experiences” offerings to an additional 200 cities in the U.S., building on the success of the locally guided programmes launched in a dozen cities in November 2016 and expanded to 50 cities since.

 

Airbnb announced that it will spend $5 million to expand its “Airbnb Experiences” offerings to an additional 200 cities in the U.S., building on the success of the locally guided programmes launched in a dozen cities in November 2016 and expanded to 50 cities since.

 

Activities available to Airbnb guests though Experiences range from tours to hands-on educational programs and dine-arounds. Local hosts earn fees for leading programs, with Airbnb getting a 20 per cent cut.

 

“By attracting travelers from around the world who seek to see cities through the eyes of a local, Airbnb Experiences bring real economic value to neighborhoods and non-profits that previously would not have benefited from tourism,” according to a company statement. “Even more, it provides a unique opportunity for people to earn extra income by showcasing their knowledge and talent with an audience of millions.”

 

Guest Experiences bookings are up 2000 per cent year-over-year, according to Airbnb, and the number of Experiences on offer has increased 500 per cent. “Globally we currently offer more than 4,000 experiences across 50 cities, and in the US alone, we now offer over 1,000 experiences and counting.”

 

http://ww.airbnb.com