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Airbnb to Support Domestic Travel & Local Economic Growth

Airbnb today announced a pair of initiatives to support local travel and economic growth: a series of partnerships with destinations around the world

Airbnb today announced a pair of initiatives to support local travel and economic growth: a series of partnerships with destinations around the world, and Go Near, a new initiative to support local economies through local travel. The initiatives come as the travel industry takes initial steps to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the travel industry, including Airbnb, has been hit hard by COVID-19 and there will continue to be tremendous uncertainty, our booking data shows that travel is beginning to bounce back and new survey research has identified a series of trends that will shape travel in the weeks and months to come. The following details the steps we are taking to work with local communities and best serve hosts and guests around the world based on the trends we are seeing.

This work includes a series of partnerships with destination marketing organizations to help these organizations use the Airbnb platform to support local economic development. The effort to make the Airbnb platform available as a tool for communities is informed by historic data on how Airbnb has supported economic empowerment. For example, in 2019, Airbnb’s host and guest community generated $117 billion in estimated direct economic impact across 30 countries alone, a 16 percent increase over the $100 billion our community generated in 30 markets in 2018.

Partnering with local communities to promote travel and economic growth

We are working with governments and tourism agencies to help support responsible and safe travel that benefits local citizens and small businesses.

Today, we are unveiling a new engagement program and announcing our work with local authorities, charitable partners and tourist bodies from around the world, including with the National Park Foundation (USA) – the official nonprofit of the National Park Service – on a national marketing campaign to engage Airbnb guests with lesser-visited parks, trails and rivers near their destinations. Through other partnerships, Airbnb will share travel data and insights as well as allow these organizations to leverage our platform and channels, reaching hundreds of millions of people globally. Our partners include:

  • National Park Foundation, United States
  • Discover Puerto Rico, United States
  • VISIT FLORIDA, United States
  • Visit North Carolina, United States
  • Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing, United Arab Emirates
  • VisitDenmark
  • French Association of Rural Mayors
  • Hadong-gun, South Korea
  • Zhejiang Tourism Homestay Inn Federation, China
  • Guilin Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting, Television and Tourism, China
  • State of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Bermuda Tourism Authority
  • The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation
  • Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Wesgro, South Africa

Travel in the United States has begun to recover

From May 17 to June 6, 2020, there were more nights booked for travel to Airbnb listings in the US. than during the same time period in 2019. 

Airbnb Superhosts have seen particular gains. From May 17 to June 6, 55 percent of the nights booked for travel to listings in the US were with Superhosts, a 10-point increase over the same time period in 2019. 

And globally, over the most recent weekend (June 5-7), we saw year-over-year growth in gross booking value (not including cancellations or alterations) for all Airbnb reservations made around the world for the first time since February.

The top 10 trending destinations in the US include:

  1. Big Bear Lake, CA
  2. Miramar Beach, FL
  3. Panama City Beach, FL
  4. Smoky Mountains
  5. Hilton Head Island, SC
  6. Destin, FL
  7. Myrtle Beach, SC
  8. Branson, MO
  9. Palm Springs Desert, CA
  10. Port Aransas, TX 

Other US destinations that have seen strong growth in bookings include Idyllwild, CA; South Padre Island, TX; northern Wisconsin; Fredericksburg, TX; Tulsa, OK; northern Michigan; Lake Arrowhead, CA; and Burnet County, TX.

Airbnb will continue to follow guidance from local officials and encourage safe, responsible travel and work to ensure guests have amazing experiences. As part of that work, in April, we announced that we had engaged former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy to help develop an industry standard-setting Enhanced Cleaning Protocol for hosts on Airbnb.

Iuliia Tore