Airbnb and Hearst have been developing a print travel magazine concept for a year, and on May 23rd the first issue will hit the stands with Havana as the feature.
Airbnbmag is part guidebook and part travel magazine. According to reports, it is targeted to adventurous travelers, rather than luxury-focused editorial common with other travel publications.
Airbnbmag is reported to have four sections: “The Local,” which gives advice on how to eat, play and shop from a local’s perspective; “Stay,” which features Airbnb properties, as well as tips and hacks on how to feel at home while traveling; “Roam,” featuring stories and destinations to inspire readers to plan their next trip; and “Belong,” which spotlights real-life adventures.
“Travelers around the world are constantly looking for new inspiration and insight — whether to uncover hidden gems and discover unique destinations or plan for their next trip,” Airbnb cofounder and chief executive officer Brian Chesky said. “Our community will provide the perfect lens for readers of Airbnbmag to discover the world, learn about new neighborhoods and hear great stories.”
The new print publication will roll out on May 23 with a $3.99 cover price. You can find it at Barnes & Noble locations, supermarkets and mass retail stores, in airports and train terminals, and at newsstands across the U.S. and Canada. A second issue will be released in September.
A Hearst spokesperson told Publishers Daily that Airbnb and Hearst Magazines will work side by side on the development, creation and production of the magazine. Both companies have a team of editors, writers, designers and marketers to work on Airbnbmag, overseen by Coles, Michael Clinton, president of marketing and publishing director, and Airbnb’s CEO and head of community Brian Chesky.
The cover of the premier issue features Havana, Cuba. Today, the company has more than 15,000 listings in Cuba – equivalent to about a dozen hotels that would have taken years to build. With the U.S. embargo virtually cutting off the possibility for large-scale infrastructure development, Airbnb’s web-enabled platform is emerging as a vital tool for powering growth in Cuba’s tourism sector.
In November last year, the company announced that travel experiences and activities led by locals would join its signature home-rental offerings. Here is an example of a Hemingway experience offered by a local in Havana. The idea is to facilitate deep engagement between hosts and travelers in such areas as sports, nature, social impact, entertainment, food and arts.
The Cuba Journal spoke with Jordi Torres, Airbnb’s Regional Director – LATAM, who said about the Experiences program, “Since we launched, Havana has been the market with the most bookings and demand.”