I NEVER IMAGINED when Joe, Nate, and I started Airbnb in 2008 that our community would grow to what it is today, with more than one million people staying in Airbnb homes each night in 191 countries—people who believe, like us, that it’s way more interesting to live like a local than travel like a tourist. As our community has grown, so has our vision. Late last year we launched AirbnbTrips—experiences you can book in 24 cities led by locals that let you eat, bike, paint, cook, listen to music, give back, and learn all kinds of new things you’d never find in a guidebook.
And now we’re launching a magazine designed to reflect all the cool stuff going on in our community. Why is a tech company making a magazine? Two reasons. First, we looked at the existing travel magazines and noticed that most had no people in them. We found that strange, because in our experience, the real magic of travel comes from meeting and connecting with people. We wanted a magazine that would celebrate that kind of traveling.
The second reason: In a world that is increasingly digital and transactional, creating something that you can hold in your hand, and that hosts can put on their coffee tables and share with their guests, is something special.
Everything we do at Airbnb is based on the idea that building community is transformative. I spent most of last month visiting Airbnb hosts around the world who prove my point. (You’ll see highlights of that trip below.) Through them, I was reminded yet again that no matter how different we look, we really are 99 percent the same. And when we focus on what we have in common rather than what divides us, we can replace “the other” with a common understanding of “each other.”
CEO & Head of Community