Airbnb is letting people book trips with Instagram-famous pets like Pickles the Pig, Nala Cat, and Penni Dog
Category : entrepreneur
- Airbnb is letting guests meet animal celebrities after extending its housing options in 2016 to include tourism experiences with locals.
- For an extra $50 to $150, Airbnb’s new Animal Experiences program lets guests go on adventures with one of Instagram’s most famous cats, a pack of nine rescue dogs, heroic cows Brianna and Winter, and other animals of Internet stardom.
- Guests might recognize some of these animals from media brand The Dodo, which is picking 50 of these experiences for Airbnb.
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With 4.2 million followers, Nala is described as one of the most Instagram-famous cats, and now, Airbnb guests can meet her along with other online animal sensations.
Airbnb launched its Experiences in 2016 as a way for guests to explore new places with locals, and it just expanded those options to animals.
The Animal Experiences option includes over 1,000 trips with more than 300 species. People hosting these experiences have to comply with Airbnb’s animal welfare policy, head of Animal Experiences Mikel Freemon told Business Insider.
Airbnb worked with The Dodo, a Group Nine Media brand that tells stories about animals and has shown dedication to animal welfare, to design 50 of the experiences.
‘It’s like meeting a celebrity’: The Dodo teams up with the stars of their viral videos to curate Animal Experiences
The Dodo helped Airbnb put together activities that are enjoyable for guests and humane for the animals, Dodo president YuJung Kim said.
It wasn’t easy, though, since cats tend to be indoor creatures. In the case of Nala, her owner came up with the idea of having guests visit Nala’s kitchen, the California factory where her cat food line called Love, Nala is made. Guests can meet Nala, watch her sample her pet food, get selfies of her and take home gift bags for their own cats.
Penni Dog, the pitbull who stars in The Dodo series “Pittie Nation” and has over 47,000 followers on Instagram, presented the opposite problem: A former rescue dog, she prefers outdoor activities like rock climbing and ziplining, so the solution was to offer Airbnb guests a hike to one of her favorite hot springs in Nevada.
“When her human dad adopted her she was very scared,” Kim said. “She had been through a lot and was generally very introverted and very skittish, so as a way of making her feel more confident they started going on hikes together.”
Other Dodo-designed Animal Experiences for Airbnb are a picnic with pig and dog duo Pickles and Dill who have 100,000 Instagram followers; a safari with cow Brianna who once survived a fall from a transport truck while pregnant; and a day filled with nine rescue dogs inspired by The Dodo series “Ruff Life with Lee Asher.”
The animal experiences cost guests an extra $50 to $150 per person. The companies share revenue from the trips.