Airbnb and Bumble Are Giving Quarantined Daters Free Virtual Experiences

From cocktail making 'in' the U.K. to grooving to jazz 'in' Amsterdam

three panels: left is someone making a cocktail, middle is a baby goat being fed, right is two men cooking
A Bumble and Airbnb virtual "getaway" date could take your online courting game to the next level. Airbnb/Bumble
Headshot of Mónica Marie Zorrilla

Dreaming of the day you’ll be able to go on a romantic adventure abroad? Bumble and Airbnb are digitizing swoon-worthy destination experiences that can be enjoyed from home while we wait for travel to become safe again.

To help star-crossed and quarantined matches connect from afar, the lodging accommodation company is releasing a collection of Online Experiences that have been Bumble-approved. For its part, Bumble is hosting a contest where 100 users of the dating app will be selected to go on one of many unique virtual outings.

These exciting and intimate experiences include “attending” a wine class with an expert in Portugal, a how-to on making Mexican street tacos, a night at a secret Amsterdam jazz club, a live show with drag queens in Lisbon, a pasta making class in Florence and a course on coffee tasting with a pro taster from Bogotá.

three panels: left is a woman cooking, middle in someone holding a glass of white wine, third is an event with colorful curtains

Bumble’s vp of marketing Chelsea Cain Maclin explained to Adweek that, especially in this time, the way we date has been completely altered because people cannot meet each other in real life. “We hear from our users that they are interested in dating but honestly don’t know how to right now and feel that it is stressful and overwhelming. So, we’ve launched a suite of features, including this partnership with Airbnb, in order to help solve that for them.”

To spice up online courting and engage all members in fun, meaningful ways, voice call and video chat capacity were implemented globally across all three modes of the app pre-pandemic (Bumble Date, Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF). In the past couple of weeks, the brand launched a “virtual dating badge,” which allows users to let potential matches know they are willing to video chat. Per Maclin, over 100,000 of the dating app’s users around the world updated their profiles to mention that they are quarantining. Bumble has also expanded its distance filters to allow users to match with anyone in their country.

Additionally, on April 28, Bumble and BuzzFeed partnered for a 24-hour branded content takeover on the media company’s site to encourage audiences to try out the app’s distance dating features.

“During the week ending in May 1, we saw about a 69% increase in video calls, and the average video call and phone call time was about 28 minutes,” Maclin noted.

The collaboration between Bumble and Airbnb officially kicks off today. New and existing Bumble Date users in the United States can go to the Bumble app to enter to win until May 28, 2020. Those who want to sneak away for quality time together can opt for private bookings and request specific booking dates.

Bumble-approved experiences that live on the Airbnb Experiences page will be open to all Airbnb users. Because of the hit the hospitality industry has taken due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Airbnb has been shifting its business to not only digital offerings (which were released a month ago) but also focusing on long-term stays. Booking seats through Online Experiences has been gaining popularity;  per Maclin, they have tripled since pre-pandemic Experiences bookings.

@monicroqueta Mónica is a breaking news reporter at Adweek.