Even as the world slowly begins to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, travel is still on pause for many. The travel industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s going to take time for travel to pick up again. It’s important that people listen to health experts and government regulations pertaining to travel, so it’s a good thing that there are still ways to go on that summer escape without leaving the safety of your home.
Airbnb launched Online Experiences in April, giving travelers stuck at home during isolation the option to immerse themselves in a new culture or activity via its digital Zoom platform. The company has released additional activations and offerings for Online Experiences in the time since, and now they’re launching a new lineup of virtual experiences just in time for all the special events people might be disappointed about missing this summer, including the Olympics, Paralympics and Pride Parade.
The Tokyo Summer Olympics have been postponed until next year, but Airbnb is partnering up with the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee for the first time ever. They’re hosting a number of virtual experiences so that online guests can personally interact with their favorite athletes, as well as sign up for workshops and learning experiences.
Airbnb is also hosting a virtual Pride Week. Even if the annual Pride March can’t take place in its usual form this year, you can still show your support for the LGBTQ community, activists and history. If you sign up for the virtual Pride Week festivities, you’re also contributing to a good cause, as all proceeds are donated to LGBTQ+ non-profits.
Other new summer Experiences include a partnership with a number of Broadway shows, as while New York City’s famous theaters are still closed for the time being, now you can (virtually) enjoy a show all from your couch.
While these virtual experiences should hopefully ride you over until your next actual getaway, Airbnb is already prepping for the next phase of in-person travel. For many people, domestic travel is going to be the next stage of jet-setting, as some are more comfortable with the idea of getting into a car rather than boarding a plane. Airbnb launched its “Go Near” campaign to encourage domestic travel, and is working with city governments and agencies to promote more local travel.