Airbnb and biotech company 23andMe want to help people travel to where their ancestors were born.
The companies announced Tuesday they were teaming up to offer people “heritage travel experiences” that would allow people to travel to the countries based on their DNA test results. 23andMe offers people personalized genomics reports that detail their family history.
“On 23andMe, once a customer receives their ancestry reports, they will be able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb Homes and Experiences in their native countries,” Airbnb said in a news release. “For example, if a 23andMe customer has southern Italian ancestry, they might be able to find a trullo in Puglia as a home base to explore their heritage. Or someone with Mexican roots could find an experience in Mexico City to learn ancient techniques of natural dye as part of their heritage vacation.”
Airbnb launched its “heritage travel” page to help travelers plan a complete trip to seek their ancestors’ roots.
A survey found more than 50 percent of Americans traveled to at least one country their ancestors were from, with more people doing so in India and France, Airbnb reported. The company said there’s been a major increase of people going to places of their ancestry.
“Since 2014, the number of travelers using Airbnb for tracing their roots increased by 500 percent, and 78 percent of these trips are taken in pairs or solo, suggesting that these are introspective journeys or an important moment to share with a significant other,” Airbnb said.
United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Poland and China were among the top countries of ancestry for 23andMe test takers.
People who can’t travel to the country can also sign up for classes or experiences being offered near where they currently live.
For those worried about their data being shared to Airbnb, 23andMe told Fast Company that the hospitality company will not receive any users’ ancestry or genetic information.