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    Who books Airbnb Experiences and why?

    Explore the latest survey results from our research team at Airbnb.
    By Airbnb on Jul 26, 2019
    3 min video
    Updated Nov 24, 2021


    • Expect guests of all ages to book your Experience

    • Guests who've booked an Experience before are more likely to book again

    • Guests want to know what sets your Experience apart from the average activity

    • Guests want to gain a local perspective and get local access

    A lot goes into booking an Experience, and understanding what leads guests to go from browsing to booking is valuable information for Hosts. Airbnb Experiences researchers surveyed guests to get insight into their thoughts and behavior.

    The researchers heard back from more than 2,000 Airbnb guests. Here are some more details about these respondents: 

    • Each had an upcoming trip booked and had searched for Experiences
    • 69% were from the U.S., and the remaining 31% were from the U.K., France, Germany, Korea, Italy, Spain, Russia, Japan, India, China, and Brazil

    Who’s most likely to book an Experience?

    Respondents who had booked an Experience before were much more likely to book again than those who had never booked an Experience. This means that you can expect some of your guests to have taken an Experience before and have an idea of how it works.

    Another takeaway from the survey was that someone’s age did not affect their likelihood of booking an Experience. Of course, the type of Experience you’re hosting will likely draw more of some age groups than others, but overall, get ready to Host guests of all ages.


    • Expect guests of all ages to be interested in booking your Experience
    • You’re more likely to have returning guests who have booked an Experience before

    Why do guests book Experiences?

    Locals have the power to unlock a place for newcomers, so do your best to highlight how your knowledge as a local enhances your Experience.Do you tell stories about the place’s history? Do you take them to areas that are normally hard to find? Including these details on your Experience page can make a big difference.

    Respondents said that Experiences are appealing because they are unique. One respondent said their goal was to do one unique thing in every place they visited. Another respondent who was traveling to Europe for the first time said that booking an Experience was a way to do an interesting activity while not being overwhelmed. 

    Guests seem to think about Experiences as a way to do something that few other travelers would get to do, so it’s a good idea to showcase what makes your Experience special on your listing page. What elements of your Experience make it stand out from the crowd?

    Respondents also place a lot of value on local access. Having no insider knowledge and feeling like a tourist can easily distance a person from a place, so guests love the chance to gain a local perspective. One respondent mentioned that they like hiking, but that it’s difficult without local knowledge, so they’ll seek out someone to help guide them. 


    • Communicate how your Experience is different from other options
    • Help guests feel like they are a part of the local community

    What stops guests from booking Experiences?

    For respondents who decided to not book an Experience, there were a few reasons why. The most common barrier was price. Guests who did not book often saw Experiences as being too expensive for what was offered. Learn more about pricing strategies for Experiences.

    This is why it’s important to articulate to guests why your Experience provides a greater value when compared to the average activity. Remember that the value comes from you. The cost of the Experience does not just cover supplies and other expenses, but it also reflects the value of your time, skills, knowledge, and unique perspective.

    The research team also noticed that many respondents who did not book were worried about scheduling time during their trip so far in advance. Travelers often prefer their time to be less structured, which means that they’re often last-minute bookers. As such, some Hosts have reported that reducing cut-off times for booking can help draw more of these guests.


    • Be specific about what makes your Experience valuable to show why it’s worth the price
    • Shortening booking cut-off times can bring in guests who don’t want to commit to a specific time too far in advance

    There are a lot of elements that contribute to whether a guest books an Experience, and Airbnb’s research team is always working to figure them out. The ultimate goal of this research is to give Hosts a more specific understanding of their audience, and we hope that you find it useful.

    Jul 26, 2019
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