An Update on Our Work with Communities in Europe

As travel patterns have changed, Airbnb has adapted and we had more listings in France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the Czech Republic combined at the end of 2020 than the end of 2019.

Airbnb adapts to guest demands and trends, and more guests are getting out of city centers and booking entire homes in less densely populated locations. In Q4 2020, for example, more guests stayed in Sicily than in Florence and Venice combined, and more in Devon than in Oxford and Cambridge combined.

New Hosts on Airbnb have succeeded. As we noted in this report regarding Hosts with one listing who began hosting since the pandemic started, new Hosts have already earned more than $1 billion, including the UK, France, Spain and Portugal.  

Today we want to provide an update on our work to support healthy travel in communities across Europe, to support Hosts and guests. 

Supporting clear rules that work for everyone 

We want to be good partners to communities across Europe and recently introduced City Portal, a first-of-its-kind solution that provides governments and tourism organizations with tools, insights and access to the Airbnb community. 

Earlier this year we announced a Landmark Commitment to the French Government – including a commitment to enforce Host registration in major cities across France – and noted that “…we will work to give city officials across France access to the portal, providing a one-stop-shop for data on home sharing, tax collection and neighbourhood matters.”

Airbnb wants to be good partners to leaders across Europe and we are supporting the EU Commission’s work to update its rules and provide a framework for everyone to work together, including governments, platforms and Hosts. Airbnb has engaged with this work backed calls last year for an independent body to oversee rules across Europe and we were pleased to see this measure included in recent draft legislation. 

Airbnb has written to leaders across Europe to highlight our continued commitment to collaboration on this important work, and we have signed a data sharing partnership with the EU Commission, to help everyone access the information they need as we move forward. 

Empowering Hosts and their communities 

As travel trends change, Airbnb is working with governments and organizations in small villages and rural communities across Europe. Here are some examples: 

  • UK – Last week we noted that all searches by guests in the UK nearly tripled week-over-week (compared to Feb 16th), following the government announcement last week that self contained accommodation could open up by April 12. With an increased focus on nearby stays, visits to Airbnb’s landing page for new Hosts were also up in both January and February compared to December. Hosts in the UK earned more than £225 million last summer, with the average Host pocketing nearly £1,000.
  • France – As we noted in this post, more than 80% of listings on Airbnb in France are outside Paris and Airbnb has partnered with the French Association of Rural Mayors to support the growth of travel to rural villages. Our collaboration is working and following a campaign to promote 16 ‘secret villages’, year on year overnight stays doubled on average.
  • Italy – We created the Italian Sabbatical campaign. As noted here The Italian Sabbatical is sponsored by Airbnb and promoted by the NGO Wonder Grottole as a part of a wider Airbnb partnership with Fondazione Matera Basilicata 2019. The partnership aims to further promote the idea of visitors as temporary citizens, engaging with the local community and travelers visiting Basilicata for Matera European Capital of Culture 2019.

Helping Hosts pay their fair share of tax 

In December we noted that Airbnb has delivered more than $2.6 billion in tourism-related taxes to local governments on behalf of our global Host community over the past seven years, as of September 2020.

Airbnb first began collecting and remitting taxes on behalf of our community in 2014 through voluntary collection agreements with San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon. Now, we are collecting and remitting taxes in more than 650 jurisdictions around the world, including communities in France, Portugal and the Netherlands, and the number continues to grow.

Our commitment to Hosts 

We are committed to our Hosts. On October 30, 2020, we announced the creation of the Airbnb Host Advisory Board, to help present ideas, influence Airbnb policies and help shape investments in the Host community from the Airbnb Host Endowment, which has been seeded with 9.2 million company shares.

We will continue to be good partners to everyone and will update on this important work as we move forward.