Cape Town has been included in the list of cities around the world that will begin offering a brand new selection of features on Airbnb, that take offers beyond just accommodation.

Airbnb has announced the launch of Trips, with  three key category areas – Experiences, Places and Homes packaged under it.

The idea with Trips is to give travellers a unique way to explore the areas they’re visiting by tapping into knowledge from locals and other travelers who frequent areas they’re in, to have a magical and fulfilling experience beyond the ordinary.

It also provides a way to  book most of your travel itinerary needs within one app.

“Having already transformed where people stay when they travel through people-powered hospitality, Airbnb is taking this same people-focused approach to the rest of the trip and, in doing so, providing a way for people to make money from their passions and interests,” the company said in a statement.

This is the first major addition to Airbnb, in its eight-year existence.

Experiences

The Experiences category lists activities curated by locals, offering unprecedented access and deep insights into communities and places that you wouldn’t otherwise come across.

Around 500 Experiences in 12 cities worldwide, including: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo and Seoul have been launched. A number of Experiences will also be available where guests can give something back to communities through non-profit organisations.

Hosts in these cities can request to list their Experience on Airbnb.

Places

Places features recommendations from Airbnb hosts, neighbourhood insiders and local influencers and is an alternative to aggregated tourist lists that funnel people to the same places.

It also has what’s called Insider Guidebooks, where Airbnb has identified cultural experts and neighbourhood insiders to recommend the hidden gems within their city. Currently, 100 Insider Guidebooks are available in six cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Havana, Nairobi, Detroit and Seoul – with more coming soon.

“Airbnb has also struck an exclusive partnership with Detour to offer access to amazing experiential audio walking tours allowing people to discover neighbourhoods in a totally unique and authentic way. At launch, audio tours will initially be available for Los Angeles with San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo and Seoul to follow by Spring 2017,” the company added.

Homes

Homes is basically the core business that Airbnb has always been about, but now, you’ll be able to book accommodation, along with Experiences.

Security measures

The launch of Trips also comes with a number of security measures in place to ensure users’ safety while they travel.

“Hosts and guests will be asked to scan an official government ID (for example a passport, or driving license) and then take a simple selfie. After the ID is authenticated, the ID and selfie will be reviewed to confirm that both pictures appear to match,” Airbnb said.

“This new identity authentication step is required for all Experiences users, and is also currently being tested for homes bookings. Trips also leverages Airbnb’s existing Trust & Safety measures including a 250+ person global 24/7 support team, secure payments, messaging, profiles & reviews, and a new $1 million liability insurance program for eligible Experience hosts.”