Airbnb is looking to friend travelers -- and the travel industry should take notice.
The young turk of the short-term rental market unveiled two new services on Tuesday to make people feel at home when they travel.
One is its first guide of neighborhoods in seven large cities –- Berlin, London, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. -- that with colorful photographs and detailed information from locals aim to make it easier to find the best place to stay. The other is a pilot program in Airbnb's hometown of San Francisco that designates 10 coffee shops as warm, Wi-Fi-equipped havens for Airbnb travelers called "Local Lounges."
Airbnb made the announcements at a press conference in San Francisco. With the two new services, Airbnb is not just trying to appeal to a greater cross-section of travelers and edge out its competition, hotels and other short-term rental providers. It's a clear signal of its much-broader ambition to burrow even deeper into the travel market, taking on Lonely Planet and other in-depth guides, even local websites such as Yelp, in its pursuit of becoming an all-encompassing destination for travelers.