Connecting Airbnb Heritage Travel with 23andMe Genomics is Perception Demand

Connecting Airbnb Heritage Travel with 23andMe Genomics is Perception Demand

This is a new level – connecting DNA to sales dollars in America. Heritage travel is a type of travel where people visit villages, cities or countries with the intention of connecting to their ancestral homes. Interestingly, Airbnb, the asset-light room aggregator, is partnering with 23andMe, a biotech startup that does genomics for people, helping on health issues and family history, to make heritage travel happen. Simply, this is perception demand, creating something in the minds of customers to make sales happen. I cannot imagine a more stimulating way to get people to spend, and be on the road in order to rent that room. But it is all capitalism.

Ever heard of heritage travel? It’s when folks pilgrimage to uncover family histories in their forebears’ home cities, towns, and countries. According to a recent survey, about 89% of people in India and 69% of those in France and the U.S. have traveled to at least one country of their ancestry, and many travelers in Australia, India, the U.K., and Brazil say that visiting a place connected with their relatives will be the most important consideration when planning their next vacation.

To facilitate these types of trips, global hospitality marketplace and service company Airbnb … announced that it is teaming up with 23andMe, the biotech firm perhaps best known for its personalized genomics reports about family history and health, to incorporate heritage travel recommendations into their respective user experiences. Specifically, 23andMe customers will soon be able to click through to their ancestral populations to find Airbnb Homes and Experiences located in their ancestral countries, and Airbnb now has dedicated pages that correspond with 23andMe’s genetic populations in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and West Asia, Central America and Mexico, South America, East and South Asia, and the Caribbean and Europe.

Yes, you do your DNA analysis via 23andMe, and notice you are from Nigeria, at any level of generational transition. You plan a trip through Airbnb to visit Nigeria from New York. For this trip, there is a higher purpose; you are not just visiting Nigeria, you are going to the land of your ancestors. That creates a new level in your mind that nothing can stop this trip from happening.

It is a new domain where your DNA can be used to activate sales at scale: Heritage Travel is now invented. Like the old Intel Inside campaign (read this my Harvard Business Review piece for insight), this new redesign can move markets if applied across sectors. Your ancestors were great wrestlers, visit Las Vegas to experience live the sports of your ancestors. Your grandparents lived near that great lake, a show is coming, and it will be fun if you finally splash that water body which supported their lives. In all these cases, DNA is used to customize your experiences through perception..


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