Airbnb hired a former Disneyland CEO in an effort to expand the experience service

Airbnb has requested the services of former President Walt Disney Co. theme parks, which abruptly left the company in September, to lead their business segment related to experiences, ...

Airbnb has requested the services of former President Walt Disney Co. theme parks, which abruptly left the company in September to lead their business segment related to experiences, reports Shift.

Catherine Powell, a Disney veteran who until recently was president of Disney Parks Western Region, including Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, has replaced Joe Zadeh as head of Airbnb Experiences. Zadeh, who has run the tour and activities business since its launch in 2016, has been transferred to the position of CEO of Stakeholders.

The new director was appointed after Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky set high expectations for the company's business in terms of experience, and the company is ready for an initial public offering this year.

"I believe Airbnb Experiences will be a massive businessSaid Chesky in a statement announcing Powell's appointment. "Not everyone has a home to rent, but everyone has a story, passion or talent they can share."

Chesky noted that Powell managed “tens of thousands of people“Around the world at Disney as they engaged in comprehensive experiences, highlighting her creativity and operational skills.

Powell said the Airbnb mission "lies at the heart of the economy of experiences“. She added that the potential for Airbnb Experiences, which so far has about 40 activities in more than a thousand cities, has expanded to include experiences in adventure, cooking and with animals, "almost unlimited".

Airbnb cited a survey by Morning Consult that more than half of respondents from Mexico, France, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Brazil would rather spend money on experiences than on physical products.

Whether this is true or not when it comes to actual purchases, it is certainly a trend seen by many researchers, especially when the preferences of millennials and Generation Z are taken into account.

Source / photo: Skift; Airbnb

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