The Real Deal New York

Airbnb to Brooklyn: Let’s share

Short-term rental service rolling out plan to direct guests to local businesses

September 16, 2015 11:00AM

Airbnb's Brian Chesky and the Brooklyn Chamber's

Airbnb’s Brian Chesky and the Brooklyn Chamber’s Carlo Scissura

Like many of its hipster customers, Airbnb is focused on Brooklyn.

The web-based “room-sharing” company announced a partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to encourage the service’s hosts to funnel their guests to local businesses. The agreement is a pilot for a program Airbnb hopes to roll out in cities across the globe.

Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Park Slope are some of the most popular on the service, but Airbnb hopes to focus on less well-frequented parts of the borough, like Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and Bay Ridge.

The program will encourage Airbnb hosts to promote local business, and instruct their owners in how to cater to Airbnb guests, Crain’s reported.

“The more we can encourage Airbnb hosts to build personal relationships with the businesses in their neighborhood to learn what’s new in their neighborhood, events that are going on, block parties, gallery walks, borough-wide events—the more we can help our hosts get access to local knowledge, the better experience they can provide to their guests,” said Molly Turner, global head of civic partnerships at the company.

Airbnb, recently valued at $25.5 billion, has faced resistance to its efforts to expand in the city from neighbors, hoteliers and city government. [Crain’s]  – Ariel Stulberg