Travel Tech


Airbnb develops its services for travellers. The company is testing a brand-new in-app functionality “Local companion”, which allows travelling users to ask questions to locals in addition to being an easy-to-use concierge service. The new feature “connects you with real people that live at your holiday destination and allows you to ask questions like ‘where’s the best sushi’” reports TheNextWeb.


Airbnb pushes further its offer, in providing travellers immediate on the move services. Tickets for games or concerts can be purchased through the app, as long as the user approves the charge. The app uses then the credit card registered beforehand. The access of the new functionality would be free of charge, whereas the Airbnb phone-in concierge service, existing since 2011, is charged by a phone call (that can be high for foreigners). More than a common concierge service, “Local companion” offers travellers other “extraordinary” services such as purchasing :

  • sold-out concert ticket
  • hard-to-get restaurant reservation
  • in-demand conferences and talks
  • sought-after nightclubs


The principal asset of this beta-tested functionality is that it connects travellers with locals. When the traveller opts-in the sharing of his localisation, “Local companion” looks for local users available and is able to recommend things to do near the place booked. Then question can be asked by the traveller and answers are received within a few hours. How Airbnb finds the local users is not explained yet. TheNextWeb assumes that the company will pay a small fee to encourage local to collaborate.


Airbnb understands the importance of locals and their value for tourism in providing good tips and recommendations about their city. With Local companion, Airbnb would offer every traveller :

  • personalised service
  • accessible on-the-move directly on mobile
  • spontaneity
  • local recommandation

Local Companion emphasises peer-to-peer’s information and experience sharing. It is then the duty of destinations to develop personalised communication and take advantage of the opportunity to use Local Companion (once broadly launched) as local user and thus promote events and sightseeing.

With this new feature, Airbnb increases further its competitiveness to the traditional hospitality industry players. Concierge service is no more exclusively provided by hotels and for top-level customers.


comments powered by Disqus

More from #DTTT

  • In June we present:
    Live: #DTTTCampus

    #DTTTCampus is here again and we are live from the ground in Oslo, Norway. We are so excited to be welcoming a range of speakers from around the world, from DMOs to travel film directors and industry content powerhouses. We are all set up in the newly transformed Høymagasinet and ready to get started! Stay […]

  • In May we present:
    Meet…Heili Klandorf-Järvsoo from Estonia Tourist Board

    Heili Klandorf-Järvsoo is the Head of Tourism Marketing at Visit Estonia, and she will be joining us at #DTTTCampus alongside a panel of other DMOs to share insights on the in’s and out’s of Visit Estonia’s ‘Storytellers Nest’.

  • In May we present:
    Meet…Kevin Wright from Travel Oregon

    In a world of always-on content, information overload and the ever-changing digital consumer, how do you stand out from the competition and most importantly, reach your audience? Kevin Wright, Vice President of Global Marketing for Travel Oregon will be joining us at #DTTTCampus in June to talk about Reflecting on the Role of Content to […]

  • designing signature experiences
    In May we present:
    Meet…Gloria Loree from Destination Canada

    We caught up with Gloria from Destination Canada ahead of #DTTTCampus to get a sneak peek into what we can expect from her talk on Designing Signature Experiences to Build Brand and Narrative.

    #brand experiences #destination canada #brand narrative #brand stories
  • In May we present:
    Meet…Daniel Bury VR Filmmaker

    Daniel Bury is one of the youngest & most up and coming creators in the world of VR film-making, travelling the world to create immersive experiences through unique 360 and VR storytelling.

    #VR experiences #virtual reality experiences #daniel bury #filmmaker #dtttcampus #virtual reality #Vr
  • In May we present:
    5 Reasons Why to Visit #DTTTCampus 2019

    In short, #DTTTCampus is a full exploration into the destination experience, with valuable insights on navigating the digital landscape and the ever-changing consumer behaviour of travellers today.

    #dttt campus #keynote speakers #workshops #destination experience #oslo #destination marketing #Visit Oslo
Show more
© 2017 Digital Tourism Think Tank

Digital Tourism Think Tank logo imge