Airbnb’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Joe Gebbia was in Singapore to announce the arrival of Airbnb’s Trips, joining local expert Nick Soon on his ‘Artisanal Dumpling’ Experience – showing guests how to make tasty traditional dumplings at his stall, One Kueh at a Time, in Berseh Food Centre, Jalan Besar.
Singapore is the first Southeast Asian city to debut Airbnb’s Trips, which moves the company beyond a home sharing concept, taking the same people-focused approach to other aspects of the trip. It comprises three core elements: Homes, Experiences and Places. Trips brings unique local experiences, insider guides and events designed and led by locals to guests staying with Airbnb and those not on the platform.
Until now, Airbnb has been about home sharing, transforming the way people travel by allowing them to live like locals. With Trips, Airbnb takes this a few steps further, adding bookable local Experiences to offer visitors an authentic and immersive way of exploring a new city. Experiences are designed and led by local experts who share an insider’s view of their city with curious travelers, giving unprecedented access to areas and places that people wouldn’t otherwise see.
Yesterday, Airbnb launches local Experiences in Singapore, each showcasing a different side of the city – from making soon kueh in Jalan Besar to learning about dragon kilns. Airbnb’s Experiences let people explore the very best a city has to offer – all powered by locals who are passionate about what they do.
With Trips, Airbnb can help spread the benefits of tourism throughout a city, operating as a platform for locals to make extra money by sharing their passions and interests, while simultaneously helping them explore new and interesting things to do in their own backyard.
“We want to make travel magical again by immersing curious visitors in local cities and neighborhoods, offering yet another way for the Airbnb community to help you feel like an insider in Singapore,” shared Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer.
“Singapore is a heritage hub with incredible diversity, culture and energy. I’m so excited to be launching Experiences here today.”
Nick Soon, owner of hawker stall One Kueh at a Time and one of Singapore’s first Experience hosts, added: “Many people only see a certain side of Singapore – the modern metropolis that’s a high-tech economic and shopping hub – so they miss out on many of the things that make us tick, like our standards when it comes to that plate of noodles or understanding the stories behind Singapore’s hawker scene. Food in Singapore isn’t just about how good something tastes. It represents the way we live, how we think, and how we connect with one another as a community. It tells the story of our history.
“I’m genuinely proud to be one of the first Experience hosts in Singapore. Being able to share my parents’ story and this piece of culture and craft with both travelers and locals who want a real taste of Singapore and Soon Kueh is a privilege! I’m thrilled they can learn more about the traditions and values of the generations who have come before me.”
Here’s just a sample of the new local Experiences now on offer – for travelers and locals alike – here in Singapore:
A kueh evangelist whose tiny stall in Berseh Food Centre has transformed the humble soon kueh, gu chye kueh (chive dumpling) and png kueh (rice dumpling). The 48-year-old learnt the skills from his parents and opened One Kueh At A Time on Dec 20, 2014, after leaving his corporate job. “My kuehs are entirely handmade. I update them to slightly suit younger groups. I’ll show you how to make tasty traditional dumplings at his own stall. We’ll stop by an old market and enjoy a traditional coffee break at a coffee shop that is one of the last of its kind.”
Stella is working at Thow Kwang Pottery, which has been a family business for 3 generations! They are one of the few ones left in Singapore that uses dragon kilns, where ceramics are fired by wood instead of gas/ electricity. Explore Stella’s family kiln – Singapore older bricks-build kiln (aka dragon kiln). “Over coffee and local pastries, I’ll share the history of my family, the kiln, how it functions and teach you the basic techniques of both hand-building and using a potter’s wheel. You can create anything you want: a mug, bowl, planter, etc. Finally you’ll glaze (colour) your own art pieces. This business started in 1965.”
“Come and be part of the One Kind Family! Learn to grow your own crops using the latest urban farming technologies; forage baby kedondong leaves to pound into pesto; and buck blue pea flowers to make uniquely different tea and rice. Then we’ll cook a three-course meal using family recipes and enjoy it together while sharing stories. One Kind House is the only 21st century kampung that’s an urban farm, cooking school, incubator, art gallery, maker space and community center all in one. Since 1969, the home spans four generations. we are located near the East Coast beach front as well as up-and-coming Siglap & Katong.”
There are now over 800 Experiences available in 14 cities around the world – including Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney here in Asia Pacific – with over 50 cities due to be live by the end of the year.
Another element of Trips is Places, which makes the most of local expertise by adding the recommendations of hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts, neighborhood insiders and local influencers to the platform, providing travelers with access to a city’s hidden gems, as well as the chance to socialize with other guests and locals through meet up events. Places will go live in Singapore later this year.