HikersHikers who take a trip with Emu Trekkers know the money they pay goes towards supporting disadvantaged kids and youth. Picture: Emu Trekkers
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Prepare for impact: Airbnb turns to community groups

A new Airbnb feature aims to connect travellers with community-based organisations in areas they're passing through. Our Community's Alex McMillan spoke to Airbnb's trips market manager, Alex Constantinides, about social impact experiences and the opportunity they present to Australian community organisations.

So what's a social impact experience?

Experiences are part of the "Trips" feature within Airbnb. Experiences are handcrafted activities designed and led by local experts, offering unprecedented access and deep insights into communities and places that you wouldn't otherwise come across.

Social impact experiences have the added bonus of enabling guests (both locals and travellers) to give something back to communities through not-for-profit organisations by paying for unique insights into a local area or activity.

Do you take a cut of the profits?

No. Airbnb waives its fees for social impact experiences so that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the not-for-profit.

What kind of social impact experiences are already on offer in Australia?

Tristan, a trained Australian historian and lawyer, and co-founder of the charity Emu Trekkers, takes guests on a hike in one of Sydney's most beautiful national parks. All proceeds go towards supporting the education, health and welfare of disadvantaged kids and youth.

What makes a good social impact experience?

It includes all these elements:

  • Perspective: Guests learn about your unique point of view and leave with a fresh outlook
  • Credibility: You're passionate and deeply knowledgeable about the experience's theme
  • Access: You can provide behind-the-scenes access to people, places or activities that a guest couldn't find on their own.

If a not-for-profit is already offering an activity that meets the above criteria we can explore it being offered on Airbnb to grow their impact, but we also encourage creativity.

What's the best way for not-for-profits to get started with their social impact experience?

Airbnb's social impact experiences web page has lots of information to help a not-for-profit get started. We also recommend browsing experiences in different cities by selecting 'social impact' under the categories tab to get inspired by other hosts.

It's important to identify who will host the experience and check that your chosen organisation meets the eligability requirements.

The next step is to create an experience and submit it. A member of Airbnb's Experiences team will then arrange a phone call to discuss the ideas and provide advice on how to deliver a successful experience so that the not-for-profit can expand their impact.

HikersSocial impact experiences enable guests with the opportunity to give back to communities by paying not-for-profits for unique experiences.

Where are organisations able to host social impact experiences?

At the moment, Airbnb offers social impact experiences in Sydney and Melbourne, but we will be opening in other locations in the future, so keep an eye on our site for news.

More information:

Airbnb's social impact experiences page.