CLEVELAND, Ohio — Traveling might not be in the cards during the coronavirus pandemic, but Airbnb has found a way to satisfy would-be travelers with its online experiences option, available since this spring. A new expansion to the program offers a slice of life in five cities, including Cleveland.
A new partnership between Airbnb and Brand USA launched on Tuesday, Sept. 29 to bring in several new online experiences that feature five storytellers sharing their knowledge. One of those storytellers is Cleveland’s own Chris Webb, a poet, artist and filmmaker. Webb offers a spoken word poetry workshop in his Online experience option through Airbnb. In the workshop, attendees can virtually work on their poetry or public speaking skills with Webb directly, according to a press release.
Other recently launched online experiences include exploring coral reefs in Hawaii, visiting historic LGBT bars in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, learning about cocktails and the history of Nashville distilleries and cooking Southern food with a Mississippi-based chef.
“Airbnb online experiences gives us a new platform to share warm and welcoming stories about U.S. destinations. As the world longs to travel again, we are delighted to help travelers understand places more deeply, meet real people, and uncover local perspectives to activate their wanderlust,” said Tom Garzilli, chief marketing officer of Brand USA, in a press release. “It’s a fun and safe way to showcase what makes this country unique, and invite international travelers to virtually experience our people and destinations first-hand.”
Webb’s online experience is available to book for $17 through Airbnb’s website. The workshop runs for 60 minutes, and is available for groups of up to 10 people at a time.
Online experiences have given Airbnb the opportunity to connect travelers with new hosts, with the hopes that it will encourage traveling once it is safe to do so, according to a press release.
“These online experiences will help virtual visitors experience the incredible natural beauty of our lands, the cultural mosaic that makes America so special and, our greatest natural resource of all, our people,” said Chris Lehane, senior vice president for global public policy and communications at Airbnb, in a press release. “In this moment we are in, where there are challenges to cross-border travel, this initiative will allow Airbnb hosts to open their virtual doors for people to experience the U.S. Our hope is that these online experiences will facilitate deeper connections between hosts and guests and encourage a future in real life trip.”
You can find more information about the newly launched Airbnb online experiences at Airbnb.com/d/visittheusa.
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