London: A £500,000 partnership between VisitBritain/VisitEngland and Airbnb aims to help businesses and destinations promote local experiences to tourists.
Experiences on the home-sharing platform offers users access to activities as well as a route to market for UK businesses to host their offerings and grow their revenue.
The collaboration also aims to boost domestic tourism in conjunction with the tourism organisations of Scotland and Wales to promote local experiences.
The national tourism organisation estimates that its activity through the partnership will generate an additional 83,000 overnight stays in Britain.
A focus is getting more young people to take a short break at home. About half of UK domestic experiences bookings on the Airbnb platform are made by 18-to-34 year olds, who are also the target for VisitEngland’s domestic campaign #MyMicroGap.
The campaign encourages ‘microgap’ trips, typically taken during a gap year but condensed into a short break.
Statistics show that 16-to-34 year olds took almost 1.4 million fewer holidays in Britain in 2016 than a decade previously.
Creative content to inspire them to engage in local experiences is also being developed to run across Airbnb and VisitEngland’s online channels from this month, driving traffic to bookable itineraries and experiences.
The partnership will also see the national tourism agency and Airbnb host a series of free regional workshops during March and April for destinations and local tourism businesses, entrepreneurs and charities.
This will enable potential hosts to find out more about listing an experience on Airbnb, how to design an experience for visitors, as well as how to drive engagement on the platform through visuals and compelling content.
VisitBritain commercial director Carol Dray said:“Our experiences collaboration with Airbnb greatly amplifies our marketing reach and increases the range and depth of bookable tourism experiences locally, giving people more choice.
“We want to boost demand for travel right now, inspiring more young Brits to take ‘microgaps’ and be advocates for experience-based travel in Britain now and in the future, benefitting local businesses and boosting the economy.”
Hadi Moussa, Airbnb general manager for Northern Europe, added: “Britain has always been a hub of creativity and innovation, with many locals having diverse skills and unique talents that should be celebrated and shared.
“From young entrepreneurs to charities and small businesses, this new partnership will help open new streams of revenue for local businesses and destinations, while also promoting everything that Britain has to offer.”