Airbnb Launches Historical Homes Category in Europe

Airbnb, Historical Homes, homesharing

Airbnb is debuting a new feature, called Historical Homes, to capitalize on the demand for heritage-related travel and make it easier for guests to find older places to stay, the company announced Thursday (July 7).

This comes as bookings for historical homes in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy have increased by more than 54% in 2021 compared to 2019. The new feature will allow guests to find things like converted chapels and castles, among other such places, from the 19th century or earlier.

In addition, the company has rolled out its Heritage Academy in France, Italy and Spain, which provides potential hosts with a toolkit and a personal Host ambassador to help them train to become a host for one of these homes.

“The new Historical Homes Category on Airbnb will not only allow travelers from all over the world to discover the richness of European cultural heritage, it also opens up previously overlooked destinations and helps disperse tourism and its economic benefits in a more equitable way,” said Emmanuel Marill, Airbnb regional director, EMEA.

“With the Airbnb Heritage Academy, we aim to provide historic homeowners with everything they might need to thrive as advocates and entrepreneurs of heritage tourism,” Marill continued.

Historical Homes will initially be available in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy, though the company plans to expand into other countries.

This also comes as Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, recently hosted members of the European Parliament on how to update European Union rules on hosting. The discussions reportedly focused on how the two entities can build “sustainable tourism models” to help locals out while also protect communities.

See also: EU Lawmakers Meet With Airbnb on Hosting Rules

Many citizens have been unable to benefit from the economic opportunities for home sharing due to “unfriendly” local rules that mostly seem to favor larger players.

Blecharcyzk said the majority of hosts were “everyday families” and that new rules could help Europeans looking to get into home sharing. They could also let governments get more tools to cut down on activity by property speculators.

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