Airbnb has announced today that it will donate more than 5.6 Million euros to the “Heritage and Local Tourism” program of the Heritage Foundation dedicated to fund the renovation of heritage buildings in rural France. This grant comes as Airbnb launches a new set of measures to revitalize heritage tourism in rural France, in partnership with the French rural Mayors association. The Airbnb heritage tourism plan will promote historic communities, help preserve cherished rural landmarks and create new economic opportunities for families and small businesses across France.
This commitment to rural France underscores the economic benefits being delivered to rural communities as a result of changing travel trends on Airbnb driven by the pandemic. In H1 2021, nights booked in rural locations were up almost 50% over H1 2019, and twice as many guests used Airbnb in Brittany than in Paris. With Airbnb now reaching more than 1 billion guest arrivals and the travel recovery turning into a travel revolution, Airbnb’s investment in rural France – combined with the economic benefits of travel on the platform – are delivering an unprecedented rural revolution that supports more families and communities, including many that have not previously benefited from tourism.
Boosting heritage tourism in rural France
To support the rural travel revolution and drive greater awareness of France’s rich diversity of heritage destinations, Airbnb will develop an inclusive plan to support property owners to make the best of the Airbnb platform to fund renovation of their heritage homes :
- Developing a 3 years marketing and communications action plan dedicated to promoting French heritage tourism to national and international audiences.
- Leveraging innovative platform technologies to make it easier for travellers to find and book heritage homes, while developing creative content strategies to inspire more guests to book heritage homes and explore the surrounding communities.
- Launching a rural heritage listing bootcamp with the support of the rural mayors association, to educate property owners on opportunities to financially support their renovation projects by listing their homes on Airbnb.
Nate Blecharczyk, Airbnb co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer said : “With this landmark commitment Airbnb aims at setting a blueprint on how sustainable travel can help make local communities stronger in the future. With thousands of heritage sites listed on our platform in the country, Airbnb has become over the years a key asset for owners in need of funds to renovate or preserve heritage sites in France. Beyond our support to renovate endangered heritage buildings, Airbnb will keep investing to support the revitalization of French heritage on our platform in the long run, including launching dedicated marketing campaigns and new product features to better highlight unique heritage listings to travelers on Airbnb.”
Cédric Szabo, director of the French rural mayors association, said “Beyond traditional landmarks in big cities, towns and villages of rural France offer the richest diversity of historical homes and buildings that have contributed to make our country one of the most sought by visitors everywhere in the World. We are glad to partner with Airbnb to preserve and keep this heritage alive for future generations”
Today’s announcements comes after Airbnb pledged its support to the French Government earlier this year to spearhead a healthy tourism recovery that spreads economic benefits to rural communities, and launched a partnership with the rural mayors association to boost short term rental accommodation in French villages and support local plans for touristic development. Airbnb’s heritage tourism plan marks a new milestone in this commitment to promote sustainable travel through heritage preservation and the development of heritage tourism in rural France.