Airbnb Brings Healthy Travel to Surf Communities Around the World

Two surfers in wet suits laugh in the water as they wait for the next big wave. Two surfers in wet suits laugh in the water as they wait for the next big wave.

Places to crash near the best waves can be hard to come by. As surfers and fans of the sport know, many of the world’s premier surfing destinations lie beyond traditional tourist hotspots and hotel districts, making close-by accommodations hard to find or prohibitively expensive during surf season. And with surfing an increasingly popular driver of tourism along with passion-based travel more generally, the need for accommodations is only growing.

This is where the “anywhere” in Airbnb’s mission of “belong anywhere” comes in. In 2017, 170,000 Airbnb guests arrived at a select set of surfing communities worldwide, from Pupukea, Hawaii to Mundaka, Spain, to Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa. The healthy travel provided by Airbnb—travel that is local, authentic, diversified, inclusive and sustainable—is making it easier and more affordable for enthusiasts to follow surfing’s competitive circuit and for beginners to catch the wave. At the same time, the communities along the circuit are able to benefit economically in a responsible way by providing accommodations through existing homes. In fact, hosts in surfing communities on The World Surf League (WSL) tournament circuit earned a combined $23+ million in supplemental income by sharing their homes and passions in 2017 alone.

Among Airbnb’s nearly five million listings and nearly 10,000 Experiences are a growing collection of surfing-friendly homes and surfing-based excursions. Our recently announced partnership with the WSL includes more than 75 new surfing Experiences, with hundreds more expected by the end of 2018. These Experiences are the ultimate in passion travel, not only giving surfers at all levels of ability the WSL-curated opportunities to plunge into something they love to do or have longed to try, but also enabling the surf pros and certified coaches who host the Experiences to make the vital income they need to help them afford to stay with the sport.

This report highlights the Airbnb surf community in cities along the WSL circuit and some of the passionate surfing-enthusiast hosts who live there.

While some of the beaches featured in the report welcome guests year round, many are smaller cities and towns that rely on being a surf destination to bring visitors when the swells are just right. This makes the important supplemental income earned even more meaningful as these destinations aren’t typically on a general traveler’s path.