It’s been a fact for a while that Airbnb is testing the waters for offering services, and not only accommodation through their $25.5 billion (current value) P2P marketplace.
For Barcelona, one of Europe’s hottest tourist destinations, this means new challenges (or possibilities) for homegrown startups in the city offering experiences to visitors, such as Trip4real and Vreasy.
This November Airbnb launched what they called Experiences in San Francisco, giving their users the possibility to see the city through the eyes of the locals, renting their apartment – going to the best sites, restaurants and attractions available.
Now they’re launching yet another initiative through user-generated guidebooks in 22 selected cities, and Barcelona is one of them.
Trip4real, a startup offering local experiences in many big European cities, is already doing what Airbnb is attempting, and has been partnering with Airbnb for around 2 years.The founder, Gloria Mollins is looking forward to this new move from Airbnb:
“We have a great connection with Airbnb, and we’re always open to partner with them. And even if they do this on their own its great new s for us as they prove our vision and idea”.
Vreasy is a Barcelona-based SaaS company that offers short term accommodation management software, used by hundreds of property managers and hotels around the world. Included in the accommodation software, it is also possible to offer a wide variety of services and local experiences. The founder and CEO, Martin Picard, is happy Airbnb is taking this approach:
“I’m sure Airbnb will be very successful with its local guest activities, and they’re increasing market awareness for Vreasy, since we help managers implement a great guest experience methodology regardless of the listing portal the guest booked on.”
Mollins and Trip4real have been aware of Airbnb’s interest in their market for a long time:
“I guess because of this recent news in T&A and P2P activities, we’ve been contacted by Kayak, Booking, Expedia and others for potential partnerships and further collaboration”.
Also Vreasy is aware of the partnering possibilities this market change might offer.
Building a community
Vreasy has apartments all over the world, but their main cities are Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Lisbon,
London and Paris.
“We’re different from Airbnb in that we focus on the host or property manager’s total business giving them the tools they need. Whilst we focus on the the property managers, Airbnb focuses on its bread and butter clients – the guests. So Airbnb is creating an amazing ecosystem, but it is just that: the Airbnb ecosystem. Successful managers – and Airbnb competitors such as the Myriad of other booking websites, need to build an ecosystem of their own, and Vreasy is the easiest way for them to achieve it.” says founder and CEO Picard.
Trip4real is also still looking at the future optimistically:
“I will start the investment round in Jan 2017. This November, I will start sending pitches, meeting investors, etc”, says Mollins.