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Airbnb and 23andMe want you to take a “heritage vacation”

Airbnb and 23andMe want you to take a “heritage vacation”
[Photo: Benjamin Voros/Unsplash]

If you use the popular genetic testing service 23andMe to find out where your ancestors hailed from, you will soon be able to quickly click through to find travel options in those countries, the companies say.

“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,” according to a statement from Airbnb. “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 also launched a “heritage travel” page, letting users click on specific countries and regions of ancestry. They can also use the service’s Experiences platform to find classes and other activities near them that relate to where their relatives came from.

The idea of Airbnb having data on where its users are from might strike some as a bit creepy, but a 23andMe spokesperson said in an email that the DNA testing company won’t send any genetic or ancestry data to Airbnb (although, presumably, Airbnb could guess roughly where people’s families are from, based on which heritage travel pages they visit).

As VentureBeat reports, 23andMe rival Ancestry already offers its own heritage travel experiences with EF Go Ahead Tours, providing testing kits and even genealogists who accompany tour groups.

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