How Airbnb Hosts Are Using Alpacas To Herd In Guests
Graeme Peto, Open Jaw
Alpacas (Vicugna pacos) are often considered the cutest of the world's hoofed herbivores (though not to be mistaken with lamas) and hail from the Andes of Southern Peru.
They eat grass, poop, and, more importantly, produce alpaca fibre, a fine material for the creation of knitted and woven items. As a side effect of nature and selective breeding, they also happen to be incredibly cute.
Airbnb owners across the globe are taking full advantage of that cuteness, in what is being referred to as Alpaca Tourism. Already, over 2,500 Airbnb rental homes are using alpacas as a way to attract guests.
One Welsh homeowner in Pentyrch (just outside of Cardiff), is advertising her $80 Airbnb as a chance to meet her whole herd. Unsurprisingly, her small country cottage is currently booked up for nearly two months in advance.
She isn’t the only alpaca listing on offer through the Airbnb platform. In Maine, guests can rent a two-bedroom apartment that sits perched above The Maine Alpaca Experience. A home in the Dutch town of Kerkwerve allows guests to wander onto their balcony to feed their herds; in New Zealand, guests staying at Brookby Hill Cottage in Hawkesbury can spend their entire vacation relaxing with new alpaca friends.
The alpaca craze is expected to continue to grow as more Airbnb owners jump onto the trend. There is currently no telling what this "come for the alpacas, stay for the BnB" philosophy will ultimately mean for the industry. One can only hope that, in the wake of alpaca mania, Baby Sloth Travel will soon sweep the home rental platform.