Airbnb wants to help travelers hang out with Berliners

Nathan Airbnb

Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-Founder and CTO of Airbnb.

Business Insider / Sam Shead

BERLIN – Have you always dreamed of going to Berghain with a Berliner? Airbnb may soon help achieve this.

The San Francisco tech giant will begin enabling Airbnb users in Berlin to offer “experiences” to travelers visiting their city.

Airbnb co-founder and chief technology officer Nathan Blecharczyk said on Friday that Berliners will be able to take tourists and curious locals on a paid experience starting in May, adding that an experience could include going out for a drink.

“We are really repositioning Airbnb as a platform for the whole trip,” he told an audience of entrepreneurs and technicians at the Factory tech center in Berlin, adding that Airbnb was also considering offering flights and other travel services through its app.

berlin club

Cassiopeia Club in Berlin.

See Appart / Shutterstock

Airbnb currently allows users to offer experiences in 13 other cities around the world and Blecharczyk said that will increase to 51 by the end of the year. There are 700 experiences listed on the platform and that number is “growing rapidly,” according to Blecharczyk.

The 33-year-old billionaire said travelers can use the company’s experiences feature to search for mushrooms, hike, marathon training in Nairobi or cycle in San Francisco.

“Our most popular [city] so far it’s Havana, Cuba, “he said.” You go to Havana and it’s really hard to tune into the local scene or know how to find things and experience the culture.”

He added, “It’s really a two-way thing. It’s not just a way to make money. It’s a way to meet people.”

Commenting on the kind of experiences Berlin entrepreneurs could offer, Blecharczyk said: “You can have an entrepreneurial experience in Berlin. Take them here [to Factory]. Maybe take them to see some of the local startups and then have a drink. It could be an experiment. It could be a way to network with entrepreneurs from all over the world. “

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