Country Pub Project Aims to Revitalise Travel to Australia’s Beloved Pubs

Today, Airbnb launches The Country Pub Project, a new initiative designed to encourage more Australians to explore regional communities, whilst breathing new life into local pubs.

Recent research from Airbnb found two in three (70%) Aussies would like to take a regional or rural road trip to see more of the real Australia, yet only 14% of Aussies have in fact spent a night in a regional pub during the past 12 months.

Furthermore, the research showed the local pub is considered the most important social hub in Australia when compared to RSL clubs, sporting clubs and even the church, yet only half (51%) of Australians would consider staying overnight in a country pub. This is even less of a case in cities and metro areas, with only one in five (21%) Aussies considering spending the night in a pub.

To help shine a light on these local institutions, Airbnb will award five pubs across Australia a grant of up to $50,000 each to help them revive and boost business via the online booking platform. This initiative aims to support Aussie publicans by generating renewed interest in small towns and communities which have been under threat in recent years due to declining populations, drought, economic disruption and waning tourism.

From 16 June through to 12 July 2019, Aussies can nominate their favourite watering hole for The Country Pub Project by visiting, describing what makes their local so special, and why an Airbnb grant would help revitalise and restore this place in their local community.

Airbnb spokesperson Brent Thomas commented on how our sunburnt country is scattered with towns that make up its heartland, and often these towns are anchored by their local country pub.

“Pubs are important places of reconnection for locals and travellers alike. They offer more than just a meal and a bed. As is the case in many rural towns, these pubs are a central meeting place, corner store, town hall and much more,” Mr. Thomas said.  

“As a community-first platform, we continue to look for ways to help the everyday Aussie. As of January 1 2019, Airbnb has hosted almost 10 million guests in Australia and New Zealand and as a result we’re uniquely positioned to connect publicans with new guests and encourage Australians to discover destinations off the beaten track.”

The NSW Government has thrown their support behind the project, with Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres saying the program will help deliver a boost to country towns and communities, particularly those impacted by drought.

“Country pubs offer more than just a good meal. They are often the beating heart of their community and bring locals and travellers together,” Mr Ayres said.

“This project is about shining a light on these institutions and getting more Australian travellers to visit regional towns.”

On 5 August 2019, Airbnb will reveal the five pubs that will receive a grant.  Each pub will be paired with a Project Manager to oversee the on-sight rejuvenation process and an experienced Airbnb Host to guide the publican on registering on the platform. In addition, Airbnb will support the town in creating a unique Experience to attract guests from near and far to their establishment, launching a campaign to help put the pub and its town back on the map.

For more information on the Airbnb Country Pub Project, visit