The Matera 2019 Experience Academy is open

Airbnb, Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019, Destination Makers, CNA Giovani Imprenditori Matera and the Basilicata Chamber of Commerce are launching the  Matera 2019 Experience Academy, the first school that allows you to turn your  hobby , passion or vocation into an experience open to everyone. This is a new kind of healthy tourism that benefits both the community and the local area , where travelers become temporary citizens of the places they visit.

This four-day event will be held in Matera, the European Capital of Culture,  from May 30th to June 2nd and will feature classes, workshops and inspiring talks, all themed around cultural subjects: four days to experiment, try out new things  and prepare for a new adventure.

Join us there! You can apply until April 21st.


You are a go-getter, you know what it’s like to put yourself out there. You love where you live, and you know the locals well. You are creative: you have ideas, skills, aspirations. Maybe you are a craftsman or craftswoman and you would like to open your own workshop to travelers to turn them into temporary craftsmen or craftswomen! Or maybe you are a photographer -you know all the prettiest hidden corners of your city or town, and you would like to show them to visitors to your area on a photography-themed tour. Or maybe food and drink is your thing: you own a brewery,you love eno-gastronomy or you are incredibly skilled at making homemade pasta. . You could be from a place that is hard to reach or hidden away ( perhaps you know by heart all the little alleys that lead to the mountains! )but you are the one who sees its potential and  knows it better than anyone else. Maybe you have a big idea and you can see how experience-based tourism could turn it into a reality .

If you have a project or activity that highlights the magic of your community and area, we want to hear about it!

This is the place to work on that idea – to test it, to discuss it and to launch it; or transform it into an opportunity – for you, for your territory and your local community.

We are looking for 25 people from Italy, with priority given to people from Matera, from the Basilicata Region and from South Italy.


The Matera 2019 Experience Academy is not a traditional convention, or a training course where you’ll just be expected to sit tight and listen. Throughout   the  four school days, which will take place at the Monacelle (via Riscatto 15, Matera), you will share your idea with both Italian and international industry professionals,  who will help you in perfecting it, communicating it and selling it. You will have the opportunity to meet like-minded creative, entrepreneurial people, whose lives have been transformed by experience tourism, and hear how they got there.

That  same blank slate they started with will be offered to you and we’ll work together to hone your idea and bring it to life.


Thursday May 30th – from 3pm onwards:Welcome | Matera 2019 and the Passport of Temporary Citizenship | Participants sharing their stories  | An experience-tourism case history

Friday May 31st – all day:The evolution of destination marketing through experience-tourism | Airbnb Experiences: what they are, how to make the most of them | Meeting a successful Experience host | Workshop: Creating and planning an Experience.

Saturday June 1st – all day:Communication, personal branding and storytelling | Multi-language communication and communication with different cultures | Meeting a successful Experience host | Workshop: Communication, marketing and sales of the Experience | An experience-tourism case history

Sunday June 2nd – Until 2pm:Boot camp: participants share and test the project that they developed during the classes | Meeting with the hosts community of Matera, Basilicata.

Throughout the four days, we will also run  individual digital coaching sessions, delivered by the Academy staff.


We will share our knowledge, tools and contacts with the 25 chosen participants. If you are chosen, you will also receive a month of dedicated support after the event, guiding you as you launch your Experience and secure your first bookings.

We are asking you not just to  attend our classes, but also to explore and examine your own idea, as well as the ideas of your peers, which you will help develop. We expect those who participate in the Matera 2019 Experience Academy to give, as well as receive.

Above all, we are asking you, once you complete the Academy, to start your own adventure, contributing to the social and cultural enrichment of  your community. In order to facilitate attendance, we will provide meals (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 aperitifs) and accommodation (for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night) at the Monacelle (via Riscatto 15, Matera).

Click here and fill in the form by April 21st, 11.59pm.

By submitting the form, you are confirming that you have read the terms and conditions within the application and you agree to comply with them.

We will contact you with a feedback by April 24th, so – should you be selected – you will have enough time to prepare to be in Matera on May 30th. Our decision will be based on your motivation and the quality, potential and feasibility of your idea, along with the diversity of the participants. Priority will be given to people who would like to develop an idea in Matera, Basilicata and   South Italy.

On the occasion of Matera being this year’s European Capital of Culture, Airbnb and Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019  are working together on a project that promotes activities and initiatives relating to  healthy tourism and temporary citizenship.

The Matera 2019 Experience Academy also entails the scientific and organizational collaboration of Destination Makers, the participation of the CNA Giovani Imprenditori Matera and the sponsorship of the Basilicata Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday June 1st is organized in collaboration with Babbel (the application dedicated to learning languages online).

For any further information on the Academy, please email us at