Sailing 101 in the Charleston Harbor. A historic photowalk. A culinary tour of Upper King Street. These are just a few of the Airbnb Experiences offered in the Holy City, and if you’re thinking about creating your own, we have the scoop on what you should know before applying to become a host.

First things first: Experiences are not a typical class, workshop, tour, or service. Rather, Airbnb describes them as “a deep-dive into the local host’s world through their passion.”

“Airbnb Experiences make travel magical again by immersing travelers in communities around the world by offering unique, one-of-a-kind experiences that are handcrafted and led by local experts,” says Crystal Davis, manager of press and public affairs for Airbnb. “Guests get unprecedented access to communities, places, and activities they’d never know through traditional tourist travel.”

Experiences fall under 12 categories, including arts and design, wellness, nature, food and drink, history and nightlife, among others. The company has three main “quality standards” — hospitality, expertise, and insider access — by which Experiences are evaluated and either approved or rejected for listing in the Airbnb marketplace.

“If it meets our quality standards, the host will get access to a set of tools to help them list and merchandise their Experience,” Davis says. “We review thousands of applicants a week and accept only 30 percent that meet our standards. Many have never been on any platform.”

Airbnb’s Experience application has five sections: about me, what we’ll do, where we’ll be, what I’ll provide, and what guests should bring. Throughout these sections, hosts must detail how their proposed Experience will meet the quality standards.


Experience hosts must be welcoming, personable, and able to establish connections with their guests. In your application, Airbnb wants to know specifically how you as a host will go out of your way to “ensure guests feel safe, engaged, and connected throughout the Experience.” Ask yourself how you can demonstrate that you are a thoughtful host who is able to anticipate and accommodate guests’ various needs.


According to Airbnb, expertise means that you have an “in-depth knowledge” or “skilled mastery” of the subject on which you are building an immersive, personalized experience. But that’s just your starting point. “In addition to passion, an expert host should consider what unique experience, credentials, or perspective they have on the main subject matter of their activity,” the company says.

Insider access

If something similar to your proposed Experience is already being offered through another travel site or app, it won’t be accepted by Airbnb. Rather, it must be “unique or otherwise inaccessible to the average tourist,” the company says.

After you’ve been accepted

Airbnb relies on guest feedback to ensure that all Experiences meet guests’ expectations and the company’s quality standards. If an Experience receives one or more one-star, two-star or three-star reviews “for three separate instances” (below 20 reviews) or falls below an overall 4.7-star average rating (more than 20 reviews), the Experience may be removed from the marketplace. Hosts will be notified if their Experience is in jeopardy of being taken off Airbnb.

To apply to host an Airbnb Experience, visit