Brits are more likely to have visited the Eiffel Tower than the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, and more people have been to the Empire State Building than the Angel of the North, according to a new survey by Airbnb.
The findings reveal it’s not just the main tourist attractions Brits are missing out on. Almost two-thirds of Brits (62 per cent) have never visited their local art gallery and over half (52 per cent) have never gone to their nearest museum. Brits are also twice as likely to go on a boat trip in a foreign city than at home.
As a nation, Brits are far more likely to engage their sense of adventure abroad (43 per cent), citing ‘complacency’ and ‘work commitments’ the main excuses for a lack of curiosity at home. ‘Prohibitive cost’ being cited by 18-24 year olds as the main reason for not getting out and about more to explore in their local area.
Brits do want to discover more about what’s on their doorstep, so long as it is in an authentic way. Close to one third (29 per cent) said they would jump at the chance for someone who could show them interesting new places close to home.
The research marks the launch of Airbnb’s Insider Guidebooks in London, a unique solution for locals and visitors to discover more about their city. Written by local cultural experts, there are now 50 London Guidebooks offering carefully curated recommendations and insider tips on unique places to go. The launch of Insider Guidebooks builds on Airbnb’s launch of the Trips platform in November, which saw the company move beyond accommodation by expanding to bookable local experiences, insider recommendations and social meetups. Other cities with Insider Guidebooks include San Francisco, Barcelona, LA, Paris, London, Detroit, Havana, Seoul, Nairobi and Tokyo, with more set to roll out soon.
London is a thriving city with so much to explore, a true melting pot of culture and inspirational people. We should strive to inspire everyone to explore the city, not just those visiting from abroad but locals too, who might have only scratched the surface of everything London has to offer. Insider Guidebooks offer inspiration from the people actually in the know, providing tips and tricks to make exploring the city both accessible and fun, no matter what your passion.
James McClure, General Manager for Airbnb Northern Europe
London Insiders include Brit award-winner Emeli Sandé, who highlights spots that have served as her musical inspiration, and broadcaster Reggie Yates, who picks out his all-time favourite hangouts. Other Insiders include tattoo artist Grace Neutral, DJ Bradley Zero, Lily Jones – otherwise known as baker Lilli Vanilli, London dog blogger Teresa Keohane, fashion designer Fred Butler and David Carter, a celebrated London eccentric, interior designer and owner of two-bedroom boutique and Airbnb listing, 40 Winks. All Insiders share tips and recommendations to bring to life the local London that inspires them in their cultural field.
London has been my home for many years now and has been the source of inspiration for so much of my music, so it will forever be a very special place to me. I’m excited to share my favourite local spots, such as Flashback Records where the staff are all really passionate music lovers and some of my old haunts near Brick Lane where I lived when I first moved to London. They might not be the most glamorous, but they have such incredible stories to tell.
Emeli Sandé on her Insider Guidebook