File photo by Leslie Nguyen-Okwu: A tourist snaps photos of Balmy Alley's famous murals.

The Next Web reports that Airbnb, the popular short-term rental platform, is testing a new service that would offer travelers a tailored trip package to explore San Francisco. Trips, called Journeys, are themed – one explores the city’s nature, another the city’s food scene, and a third the “the city’s hippest neighborhoods” guided by hosts who “are witnessing big shifts in a rapidly changing neighborhood.” Yes, that is the Mission they’re referring to, and the trip package is called the “Mission Locals” Journey. (For the record, this news site Mission Local is completely unaffiliated with Airbnb and the Journeys service.) 

Airbnb has experimented with something similar in Paris, which is the platform’s largest market. The San Francisco version is also just an experiment, currently available to select beta-testers only, and may never be offered to all Airbnb users. Airbnb says it’s just another way to “reinvent travel.”

The hosting platform acts as a sort of travel broker, though as Next Web notes, when the deal is sealed it’s between the traveler and the host; Airbnb assumes no liability. Trips last between three and five days and come at a flat rate, $500 for one person and $750 for two, which includes a place to stay that Airbnb picks, a ride from San Francisco International Airport, and one meal per day.

No word on how the travel-guide hosts are chosen or on whether new regulations under Proposition F would affect services like these or any of the hosts involved, if it passes on November 3.

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  1. Nothing revolutionary here. Guided tours go back to Dante. Airbnb’s just trying to corner a market à la Uber.