Airbnb invests in Tiqets for experiences that aren’t, well, unique – Skift

Airbnb has led a $ 60 million investment round in Tiqets, a signal that the home-sharing giant realizes that unique experiences only meet the needs of a limited segment of travelers and locals.

With the Series C round of funding, backed by existing investors HPE Growth Capital and Investment, Airbnb becomes a minority investor in Amsterdam-based Tiqets. Since its founding in 2014, Tiquets has raised total funding of $ 105.5 million, according to Crunchbase.

Tiqets, which looks to mainstream attractions, from museums to iconic destinations such as the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island and the London Eye, said it would use the funding to expand its distribution and improve its product for consumers and attractions.

Airbnb is proud to offer so-called unique experiences, ranging from a walking tour of a Hasidic rabbi in Brooklyn, to Mezcal tastings in Mexico City, to a picnic and a horseback ride in the bush near the Mount Kenya.

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But as Tiqets’ investment suggests, Airbnb must realize that it only caters to the needs of a limited segment of travelers with tours off the beaten track. Many tourists like to visit the Vatican, if they go to Rome, for example.

Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

That Airbnb is ultimately becoming more of a conventional travel seller comes as no big surprise – this stuff happens all the time.

For example, after TripAdvisor acquired tours and activities seller Viator in 2014, the first order of business was to expand Viator’s offerings from an organized set of attractions to a much broader range of listings.

Booking.com in its early days focused almost exclusively on hotels, but has eventually expanded to alternative accommodation, car rentals, tours and activities, and recently flights.

And even Airbnb, which initially focused on apartments, mostly in urban areas, expanded to vacation rentals in resort destinations, as well as boutique hotels with its acquisition of HotelTonight earlier this year.

Some things, such as Airbnb becoming more common in both accommodation and attractions, are not necessarily inevitable, but very likely.

This is all the more true as Airbnb plans to become a public company in 2020 and will have to show the stock market that it has sufficient room for growth, beyond short-term rentals.

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Photo credit: Sunrise at Ellis Island in New York. Tiqets sells tours of the iconic destination. United States National Park Service


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