Here’s a shocker. High-tech, super slick Airbnb have teamed up with the Hearst Corporation to produce a travel magazine; essentially Airbnb Magazine. The rationale is that nobody knows better where people want to go than Airbnb does. They see it in demand and deals and have it resourced from billions of data points. As such, they can provide stories for people and places that are hot and can write about places that are trending. Savannah, for example, is one of Airbnb’s biggest sourced destinations, Porvoo in Finland is another. Go figure!
The first launch will be this May. It’s going to provide competition for mags like Afar and Conde Nast Traveler but Airbnb is different by basing stories and articles on where people want to go. In other words, they’re putting the power into the hands of the consumer instead of the usual fantasy articles that occupy most chapters of a travel mag. Incidentally, one of the best travel mags for me is British Airways High Life. Of course, the only problem there is that British Airways has to fly there and it’s only available on the airplane. I always steal a copy!
Airbnb mag is an experiment but like travel books, people still love travel in print form. Look at the success of Rick Steves. Regular monthly mailings will be forthcoming if this finds success.