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23 May 2019

Airbnb teams up with 23andMe to promote DNA-based heritage travel

Online travel marketplace Airbnb has teamed up with genetic testing company 23andMe to make the finding of heritage travel experiences based on DNA tests simpler.

Inspired by research among their own customers, the companies are incorporating heritage travel into their product experiences, so customers can better connect with their ancestry through a trip.

According to 23andMe's research, 53 per cent of buyers of genetic kits took the test because they wanted to know about the ancestry of their family. Airbnb's study in April 2019 of 8,000 people across the US, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, India, France, the UK and Australia, found that many respondents had travelled to at least one country of their ancestry: 89 per cent in India, 69 per cent in France, and more than half of Americans.

Once a 23andMe customer has gone through a DNA test and received their ancestry reports, they will be able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb homes and experiences in these countries and locations. Airbnb now has pages corresponding to 23andMe's genetic populations, making planning a heritage trip based on ancestry a simple task.

The most popular places of origin for DNA trips (based on Airbnb's internal data) are the places typically known for their history of immigration, with the US, Canada, Australia, Mainland China, the UK, France, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and Brazil making up the top ten.

"We believe that authentic travel experiences help you connect with local cultures and create a sense of belonging anywhere in the world – and what better way to do that than travelling to your roots," said Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer at Airbnb. "23andMe is the leader in helping people learn about their genes and ancestry, and together we can make it easier for travellers to plan trips as unique as their DNA."

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