Welcome Letter - Airbnbmag
Hi, I'm Brian
Photos by Peter McCollough.

BY BRIAN CHESKY

Welcome to a new kind of travel magazine—one that's driven by the power of human connection.

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.”

Brian Chesky
CEO & Head of Community

Brian meets Tony in his Harlem apartment. - Harlem, NYC
Brian meets Tony in his Harlem apartment.
Tony and the Harlem Grown kids teach Brian and the other Airbnb guests about sustainable urban farming. - Harlem, NYC
Tony and the Harlem Grown kids teach Brian and the other Airbnb guests about sustainable urban farming.

Harlem, NYC

“Tony Hillery was volunteering in a local school when he realized that there were more than 50 places nearby offering fast food but no place to buy fruits and vegetables. He launched Harlem Grown to teach kids sustainable farming and nutrition, and now 4,800 kids participate. Tony says many of them have only one parent, and some are homeless; the kids think of Tony as a mentor and stable figure in their lives. In this Airbnb experience, you farm and harvest with the children of the community. It’s supposed to be for the benefit of the children, but I think that I and the other Airbnb guests benefited more than Tony or any of us could have realized.”
Clean Cut Kid serenades the intimate crowd in the Shoreditch neighborhood for the launch of Music Experiences. - London, UK
Clean Cut Kid serenades the intimate crowd in the Shoreditch neighborhood for the launch of Music Experiences.
Fast-rising R&B musician Jodie Abacus performs one of his hits. - London, UK
Fast-rising R&B musician Jodie Abacus performs one of his hits.

London

“We were in London to launch Music experiences, which give people the chance to hear musicians perform in intimate spaces. It’s a great way to listen and empowering for new artists who are struggling to make money with streaming services. We hope that in ten years more people will hear music this way than in stadium arenas.”
The graduation ceremony for students of Tony Elvin's iKhaya le Langa, a non-profit that teaches the people of Langa how to earn income through hosting.

Cape Town

“Tony Elvin used to work with Jamie Oliver’s foundation in London. He got involved in charity work in Langa, which is one of the poorest parts of Cape Town, and realized that what people really needed were jobs. Some of the families he encountered had no history of work for 50 years. He created a course to teach women how to become hosts and begin making an income. The photo above is from the graduation ceremony; you can see from the look on this woman’s face how meaningful this was to her.”
Brian visits one of India’s premier clothing factories.
Highly skilled tailors hand sew a dress for a Bollywood actress.

New Delhi

"The Journey of Couture experience was really different for me. I hadn't been a fan of fashion; I just thought of it as trends. But visiting this factory where everything is handmade for Bollywood stars, and getting fitted for a suit myself, allowed me to see it as an art form."

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