Airbnb Launches New Neurodiverse Experiences to Ensure Virtual Travel Is for Everyone
Airbnb is making online experiences more approachable for everyone.
This story originally appeared on TravelandLeisure.com by Stacey Leasca.
Airbnb is on a mission to ensure travel experiences are for everyone.
In March, the company announced a suite of new Online Experiences to ensure the neurodiverse travel community could join in on all the virtual fun, too. The 12 new Online Experiences, Airbnb said, were "designed by Hosts with neurodiverse guests in mind."
"We are excited to offer Online Experiences designed by hosts with neurodiverse guests in mind. Our hope is these activities will help guests become more comfortable with a new activity or use them to connect with loved ones," Suzanne Edwards, Airbnb head of hosting accessibility standards, shared in a statement. "Airbnb is committed to improving accessibility across our platform and we continue working toward our goal of making Experiences as inclusive of as many needs as possible." (BTW, here's what needs to happen to create an inclusive environment in the wellness space.)
The new experiences, Airbnb explained, include an inclusive dance class to improve coordination and fitness, interactive music lessons, and even a painting lesson that virtually transports guests to California. And, to help everyone enjoy these new Online Experiences, guests can receive $15 off their first booking through May 1, 2021, by entering the code EXPLORE at checkout.
"From a virtual trip to Los Angeles for an inclusive skateboarding lesson to an inclusive soccer class led from the UK (where the sport is known as football), Online Experiences provide a way to learn new skills, connect with others, and travel the world from home," Airbnb said in a blog post. "The opportunity to try new activities and explore new places without leaving your living room may be particularly meaningful for many neurodiverse guests. Other Online Experiences can help offset some stressful impacts of the pandemic, including visiting a herd of therapy llamas, mindfulness designed for neurodiversity and meditation to help manage anxiety." (Related: How to Get the Mental Health Benefits of Travel Without Going Anywhere)
As a bonus, many of the activities offered through this special collection are also listed as Social Impact, meaning all of the proceeds go to a non-profit.
"As SeeAbility's Head of Engagement, people with lived experience of disabilities tell me every day how isolating the pandemic has been," Scott Watkin, SeeAbility's head of engagement, shared. "I welcome this new initiative and am delighted that a more accessible online world is now available for the thousands of people with disabilities through Airbnb's global community. This is a great example of inclusion and I hope that with Airbnb and SeeAbility continuing to work together, we can create even more opportunities for people to participate and contribute around the world."
To book these Online Experiences and see even more, visit the Inclusive Exploration section on Airbnb now.