A call for help! (Airbnb Experiences)

Hi everyone!
I’ve been looking around desperately for help the past days and finally found my way here.
If anyone with the expertice in making and hosting Airbnb experiences could help with some insights it would be amazing!

To make a long story short, I’m a freelancing photographer and guide living and working in Kyoto.
I part time at a Studio nearby and also do some guiding on my free days. I got quite a lot of free time on my hands and got the great idea to try and join the Airbnb experiences.
Or so I thought…

I have tried to add my experience about 4 times already but first time it was pending for review over 2 months until I deleted it.
2nd time denied for being a service and not an experience.
3rd time same as 2nd.
4th time just declined without explanation.
I have read the guidelines over and over but I might just be stupid or just not suited for writing exciting stuff :frowning:
I also looked at multiple other local photographers and their experiences what they got written.
I am not the best writer and fully aware of this, but I am a talker and love people.

Here is the latest one I got declined.
About me:
I’m an English, Japanese & Swedish speaking professional photographer working locally here in Kyoto in a traditional “Oiran” Photo Studio since a few years back.
I’ve got experience in photography & design that goes way back to high school in 2006!
Since i first came to Kyoto back in 2011 I have always returned,
a few years ago I decided to stay here.
I’m a curios soul who’s been exploring Kyoto ever since and now I know this city better than my own pockets.
Let me share this magical place with you!

What we’ll do:
On this Photo Shoot & Tour Experience we will right from start be hitting the old streets and I’ll show you my absolute favorite spots, we’ll explore hidden alleys, nature, temples and shrines old such as new while I capture all your fun.

I’ll guide you trough posing if you are new to it, or let you go all in if you want to try yourself.
We will have a lot of time to talk and I can also share other insights on things you could do during the rest of your stay here in Kyoto.
Let me show you My Kyoto!

You can enjoy exploring new places with new friends without being distracted by trying to capture everything.
Make your Vacation Photos more than just a gallery of photos without you in them,
be in the photos and show everyone back home that you had a great time here in Kyoto.
I’ll make you look like a photo model, mysterious, beautiful, romantic couple on a honey moon trip, let’s talk about what direction you are interested in.
After the shoot, we’ll sit down together at a local café while checking out our memories from the tour together.

You will get more than 20-30 photos edited personally by me.
The photos will be sent to you trough an easy to access online gallery.

Where we’ll be:
We’ll most likely go to Arashiyama district where I have spent most of my time guiding in the past. There are tons of great off path nature, hidden temples, shrines and art that not a lot of people know about. One of my favorite spots is one hidden deep in the famous bamboo forest where we usually can get away from the crowds to enjoy the groove, a hidden shrine and a lake.
Arashiyama is a magical place with the perfect feel of Kyoto.

What I’ll provide:
󲀃 A cup of Coffee or Tea at a local cafe
󳀁 Camera & Equipment

Photo shoot in hidden nature of Kyoto

Any ideas and insights are so welcome. Really looking forward to get this started!

First of all… Do you actually Host an AirBnb listing, or are you “just” a photographer and guide trying to go along for the ride on AiBnb’s coat-tails?

I see nothing in your description that talks about your listing – where it is, how many can stay there and be part of the experience, etc.

Sorry not hosting an airbnb listing, is this necessary for making and experience?
Not really understanding your question here?

I want to create an custom made experience that people will have fun and enjoy.

If they don;'t want it to be a service, just have tour of Kyoto in your title, and describe in the description that you can also help with photos.


Have you tried Triip.Me instead of Airbnb?

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My understanding is that you need to be a host in order to set up an experience.
Yours sounds interesting, but you need to correct some wording, spelling and grammar and no where did I see a price.


Absolutely, positively, 100% – You must first be an Airbnb Host. Then, and only then, if you have some unique skills, you may qualify to operate an Experience.

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So, Should the TTT zone be an experience or a STR? I had no idea the one was a pre-requisite for the other. Thanks Ken!! Are your famous breakfasts all-inclusive or an experience?

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It’s not a service tho l. My goal is to make personal experience where a small group of people will be able to explore together with a photographer. I’ll also help with posing, places to go together, talking about the trip and things to see also after the photo shoot.
A little bit similar to this. But more personable.
airbnb /experiences/111001

I’ll check it out. But really love the idea of the Airbnb experiences!

I didnt know of that. Just signed up and verified my account. Not hosting any living but was thinking of just hosting the experience. Seen other people hosting without an airbnb listing before tho :open_mouth:

Will have to try and fix that spelling too. Didn’t know there was any?

Thanks Ken for you answer. Will have to look into the rules a bit more. Couldn’t find anything on that when I was reading the guidelines before :open_mouth:
Maybe the rules are different depending on what country site of airbnb you use.
Seen lots of experiences here in Japan without and house listing. Only the experience. Maybe my miss is that im using .com instead of .jp?

Btw just noticed that there are contact mail addresses and phone number on the japanese and swedish page of airbnb.
But not in the .com version lol.

I’ll consult for some advice over there to see what they say.
If I’m able to solve this I’ll post back here, thismight be quite good to know for future experience hosts too :slight_smile:

Thank you for all of the responses really kind of you helping me!

We are a forum of hosts independent of Airbnb.

You would be much better contacting the experience team at Airbnb or contacting Airbnb on social media and asking them the simple question. Do I need to be a host on Airbnb to run an experience.

If you don’t need to be a host then you need to ask them what you need to do in order for your application to be considered.


That’s exactly what I’m about to do, thank you :wink:

I’m absolutely sure that you DON’T have to have a listing to host an experience … i.e. I know people who host similar experiences to the OP who don’t host a property. What’s more there is nothing in the TOS that states you must first be a host,

@Jens_Madsen, it may be that they already have a lot of people doing photography tours in your area and they want to diversify the experiences. Also, as many of us know to our cost, Airbnb make some decisions just because … they can. I agree you should try and contact them personally.

However, it does seem that what you are offering is a bit on the borderline between an Experience and a service … I wonder if you could tweak it a bit to show the participants in a more active light? As for your writing, yes, a few spelling and grammar oddities (try the Grammarly App), but it sounds enthusiastic and fun and I think would be attractive to people visiting Kyoto


OK, from the official Airbnb page on how to host an experience:

Do I have to host a home to host an experience?
No. You don’t have to host guests overnight in your home or space to be an experience host.


That means there’s still hope!
About tweaking it, I’ve been thinking of that too really trying hard to make it sound more personable and cozy.
Also been spending countless hours researching, writing it all up in a word document looking for clues and maybe good keywords from other people hosting a few photo sessions in Tokyo.
I’ve been looking in Kyoto and there aren’t that many photographers tho.
But to be honest, I’m not the best with writing.

Wrote a message to them now, all I can do is to wait for an answer I guess.
Will probably take a while since my question is quite long ^^

Ah I assumed you had already checked the information on Airbnb to see whether or not you needed to be a host before coming here and posting. It was good of @Malagachica to find it on their site for you.

If you don’t have good English ask some you know who does to check it for you.

However it looks fine to me.

As others have said Airbnb is not the only place where you can promote your tours so look at other channels too.

How about focusing more on helping people improve their photographic skills? It’s always useful to offer something that enhances the participants’ skill set, I think.