When Airbnb announced Trips one thing got certain.
The death of the traveler. The perish of the art of travelling.
If before there were still a small chance for the traveler for random encounters in the spirit of the actual culture of the place he is visiting, experiences which are not curated on an app experiences like pulling a poor person’s cart on a busy Indian roads these chances are now almost gone to nil.
In the past few decades of the old millennium we can barely consider someone as a traveler. There are almost no travelers left.
There are tourists whatsoever and the difference is significant. When a traveler goes to experience a preconceived package of the location he is visiting including well defined itinerary, places to visit and things to do, he is merely exposed to an artificial copy of that place a sort of pseudo event, he becomes a tourist. The traveler is someone who works on his experience on the go, he is proactive he goes strenuously in search of people, of adventures of experiences. The tourist is passive, the pleasure seeker, he expects things to happen to him.
Related Read: How Airbnb Makes Money While You Stay With Strangers !
That’s what Airbnb Trips promise to bring to all of us – Things happening to us. Killing the last remaining travelers and creating tourists out of all of us.
By doing, so the ancient art of traveling has receive yet another blow towards ceasing to be an activity and more of a commodity. And when something becomes a commodity, when something appears as if coming out of an assembly line people have less saying into what goes into it.
A traveler used to go abroad to encounter the natives among everything else. However the function of curated packages and now of Airnbn Trips will merely be to create this encounter by creating a layer of pseudo experiences.
If we take the proactivity, the unknown from the travel experience what else is left but rather being sent to a place, from point A to point B. Travel will merely become a quest to satisfy the exotic experiences we have about a particular country like snake charmers in India or Takarazuka dancers in Japan.
Our journey becomes not a quest for the unknown but an attempt for affirming pre-conceived notions forgetting that the true magic of every place lies in the day to day rituals of the natives not the pseudo experiences we are already told we can expect.
Although Airbnb promises more unique localized experiences the consequences will remain the same – you wait for things to happen to you. If so far you were expected to find your own way apart from the hassle of getting a host you can be comfortably assured that this will be gone too.
A toast to the new Marco Polo, if we can still hope for one !
(Disclaimer: This is a guest post submitted on Techstory by the mentioned authors. All the contents and images in the article have been provided to Techstory by the authors of the article. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)
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About The Author:
Anjli Jain is a successful female tech entrepreneur, investor and social activist. Mrs. Jain is the Managing Partner at EVC, a $50 million fund focused exclusively on early stage enterprise software, Internet and mobile companies that target the education market or companies created from intellectual property technology transfer from colleges and universities. Mrs. Jain has 15 years of experience with tech startups, venture capitals and social activism.