Airbnb Launches Line of Cooking Experiences

Underscores importance of culinary while traveling; raises questions about food tours on the platform.

by | Nov 27, 2019

Whether it be enjoying an Italian grandmother’s secret pasta recipe or helping yourself to a second serving of Iceland’s slátur (a.k.a. blood pudding), exploring local cuisine is an essential part of travel.

This may be why Airbnb announced the launch of Airbnb Cooking, a category of Experiences designed to help travelers learn about food culture in destinations around the world. 

Here is the company’s video announcement:

Through Airbnb Cooking Experiences, we want to bring back the tradition of people coming together to make and share meals, and through this help preserve unique recipes that are shared within family kitchens around the world,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder, in a statement. 

Along with Animals and multi-day Adventures, Cooking is the third category of Experiences Airbnb has launched this year. There are over 3,000 Cooking Experiences in 75+ countries.

The company says all cooking experiences are vetted for quality to ensure it “communicates the unique essence of every dish through their personal stories and has proven a deep knowledge of the heritage of the cuisine that they share.” The details of the vetting process are unclear, although they’re based in the tenets of Slow Food, a nonprofit organization that prioritizes traditional cooking methods. 

Arival 2019 research confirms that travelers rank culinary as one of the most important factors in a trip, and Airbnb says bookings of food and drink Experiences have grown 160% year-over-year since 2018. 

The launch of Airbnb Cooking sparks important questions on how this new category will impact your business. Will operators of food tours be able to list their experiences on the platform? For operators who already have food tours listed on Airbnb, will Cooking options cut into potential sales? What does the vetting process really look like?

It’s worth keeping an eye on Cooking Experiences to see how the category evolves and grows. 

Learn more about Airbnb’s plans for the future by watching this interview with Riccardo Ulivi, head of Experiences-Americas, at ARIVAL Orlando 2020. 

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