Centara Hotels & Resorts

Published on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

VisitBritain announces £500,000 deal with Airbnb

VisitBritain/VisitEngland is to invest £500,000 with peer-to-peer short lets website Airbnb to promote local tourism.

Its match-funded partnership with Experiences on Airbnb will work with business and destinations to promote tours, day trips and unique events offered by small entrepreneurs to both domestic and international visitors.

The national tourism agency said the tie-up would also grow and broaden the range of experiences available and drive visitor growth, generating an additional 83,000 overnight stays.

Experiences on the Airbnb platform range from tours and educational workshops led by local experts to visits to 'hidden' jazz clubs and trekking with llamas. VisitBritain said the platform also offers a route to market for British businesses to host their experiences and grow their revenue stream.

The partnership will collaborate with the tourism organisations of Scotland and Wales to promote local experiences, such as traversing Tarmachan Ridge in Scotland to kayaking on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales.

VisitBritain commercial director Carol Dray said: "Our Experiences collaboration with Airbnb greatly amplifies our marketing reach and increases the range and depth of bookable tourism experiences locally, giving people more choice. We want to boost demand for travel right now, inspiring more young Brits to take 'microgaps' and be advocates for experience-based travel in Britain now and in the future, benefitting local businesses and boosting the economy."

One of the aims it to get more young Britons to take short breaks at home as about half of UK domestic Experiences bookings on the Airbnb platform are made by 18-to-34 year olds, who are also the target for VisitEngland's domestic campaign #MyMicroGap.

The campaign encourages young Britons to take a 'microgap,' a break typically taken during a gap year but condensed into a short break. In 2016, 16-to-34 year olds took almost 1.4 million fewer holidays in Britain than a decade previously.

Creative content to inspire young Brits to engage in local Experiences is being developed, in line with VisitEngland's #MyMicroGap campaign, which will run across Airbnb and VisitEngland's online channels from this month, driving traffic to bookable itineraries and experiences.

The partnership will also see VisitBritain/VisitEngland and Airbnb hosting a series of free regional workshops across Britain during March and April for destinations and local tourism businesses, entrepreneurs and charities.

This will enable potential hosts to find out more about listing an Experience on Airbnb, how to design an innovative Experience for visitors, as well as how to drive engagement on the platform through visuals and content. The workshop dates will be available in the coming weeks on visitbritain.org.

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