Riparide is the chalet and mini-house reservation platform that targets Airbnb
It’s not hard to see how Riparide – along with cabin-style accommodation companies such as Unyoked, CABN, In2theWild, and Tiny Away – have found success in wellness and adventure travel trends.
And Australians have cabin fever. With many of them unable to leave the country – or, in recent months, their local government area – the sense of COVID-induced claustrophobia is palpable.
But people have looked for mini-escapes with their city life long before the borders were closed and locked.
Since its inception in 2014, the platform has proven to be particularly popular with young people who need to unplug and unplug, says Law.
The majority of Riparide users are Millennials, and around 85% are between the ages of 25 and 44.
“I think the return to nature, the outdoors and adventure has been pretty obvious, especially through the Millennials,” says Law, who, at 40, is content to rank himself in the generation category.
“They are the most connected in this modern world, and they have a desire for something unique, extraordinary.
“They want to go and take trips that contribute to their happiness and well-being. “
He verifies. A recent Tourism Australia study found that ‘relaxation’ was the number one reason young people book a trip to Australia. And feelings of “tranquility” and “rejuvenation” stand out most in Riparide’s post-stay polls.
Law says those feelings of fulfillment are the reason he didn’t list his first property, the Bells Beach Teepee, on Airbnb. Instead, Riparide focuses more on selling the activities, lifestyle and feelings associated with housing, rather than the housing itself.
Riparide always invites photographers to stay at its properties to snap photos of their stay, share their experiences, and share things to do in the area – like nearby waterfalls, hiking trails, and great coffee. Users can then add them to their own itinerary. It’s an “entry-level” adventure, says Law.
It’s no different than how influencers and bloggers have in recent years used social media to sell a lifestyle to millennial audiences – through personal and trusted stories.
And trust is an important thing for companies like Riparide.
“Millennials are now so aware of the smoke and the mirrors, and don’t trust the purpose and the mission,” Law says. “They really look at companies through the prism of their values. “
So far, Riparide’s mission – which Law defines as “helping people find fulfilling times through nature” – seems to have held true for its users. As Airbnb became more mainstream and transactional, Riparide was able to step in as a local alternative, perhaps with some of the authenticity that Airbnb inevitably lost in becoming a global giant.
But Riparide should be tested in the same way as it evolves. It plans to launch overseas housing within the year, starting with Auckland and two cities in the United States whose names have yet to be named.
But, for the remainder of this year, Law is just hoping that regional travel can open up again. He predicts that bookings will rebound once travel restrictions are lifted in Victoria and New South Wales.
“People have been crammed into their buildings… people want to be free and get out of this apartment or house and COVID lockdowns.
“We’ve seen it before. And we have no doubt that this will be a huge time for people to be adventurous and free again. “