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Travel campaign encourages tourists to ‘live there’

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky speaks during an announcement in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Airbnb is adding new recommendations to its online accommodations service, building on its knowledge of travelers' preferences and tips from local residents. The company, which lets out-of-town visitors find people renting out homes and rooms, says it wants to help travelers get off the beaten path by showing alternatives to well-known, often crowded, attractions. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Don’t just go there. Live there.

That’s the message being rolled out by the travel website Airbnb. The company said the campaign is in response to the growing disappointment with standardized tourist offerings.

“The number one reason people choose to travel on Airbnb is they want to live like a local,” said Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. “They don’t want to be tourists stuck in long lines, fighting with the crowds to see the same thing as everyone else.”

When it comes to living like a local for visitors to Arizona, Stephanie Dowling, deputy director of the Arizona Office of Tourism, said that can take many forms, from attending a cowboy college in Scottsdale, to picking your own produce on a farm in Yuma.

“You can pick the produce and have individuals cook it for you,” Dowling said.

She added there are great dining opportunities throughout the state, including a fresh foodie trail in Mesa along with local, award winning chefs in the Valley.

Dowling said for Grand Canyon visitors, the Grand Canyon Field Institute will organize archaeological surveys and habitat restoration projects for visitors to take part in during their time at the national park. Visitors to Arizona could also take part in the Miraval resort beekeeping program in Tucson.

“You literally get in your beekeeping suit and you learn all about hives and honey tasting,” Dowling said.

When it comes to lodging, Dowling explained you don’t have to stay in an apartment or house to feel like a local. She said there are many great resorts in the Valley, and if you are heading to some of Arizona’s smaller towns, there are some different lodging experiences. You could stay in a teepee in Holbrook or a caboose in Williams. She said if you are looking for a different, immersive vacation experience, do your research ahead of time.

“The state is so diverse that you could do several day trips or overnight trips throughout the state and have a variety of different experiences,” Dowling said.

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