New data, programme show Airbnb strengthening European communities

At Airbnb, we believe that travel and tourism can strengthen communities in ways in which everyone—guests, hosts and local residents—can win. Today, we are sharing new data showing travel using Airbnb is expected to boost communities in Europe by an estimated €340 billion by 2020, and will support an estimated 1 million jobs across the region that year. To promote the growth of healthy people-to-people tourism that benefits residents, we also are launching a €5 million programme of ongoing investments for innovative, locally sourced projects that can help achieve this goal.

The announcement comes after Chris Lehane, Airbnb Global Head of Public Policy and Public Affairs, spoke last week at the Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) about how travel on Airbnb can be a tool to help bridge social divides and boost benefits for communities.

“More people are staying with each other using Airbnb in Europe than anywhere else on earth,” Lehane at the OECD Forum. “It is a healthy and sustainable form of tourism that ensures benefits stay right here in Europe and are enjoyed by many—not kept in the hands of a few.”

When guests travel using Airbnb, local hosts keep 97 percent of the accommodation charge, and more than half of guest spending takes place in the communities where they stay, the places local residents call home. The typical Airbnb host in Europe made €2,400 by sharing their space for 27 nights last year.

Airbnb’s Community Tourism Programme

To help support the growth of healthy people-to-people tourism that benefits communities, Airbnb is today launching the Community Tourism Programme with the aim of investing €5 million in projects that use innovation to help preserve and boost the best of local customs, traditions and landmarks that make European communities unique.

The fund will be available to organisations—including charities, nonprofit agencies and community social groups—in need of financial support for innovative local projects.

“We want to work with communities to help boost and preserve the qualities that make them unique,” added Lehane. “Airbnb has a long history of supporting progressive local initiatives that boost communities and bring people together, and we’re excited to continue that tradition here in Europe.”

Bringing communities together

New data shared today also highlights how travel on Airbnb is helping bring communities together and in 2020, an estimated 24 million stays between hosts and guests from different countries across Europe will take place using Airbnb.

“Communities are strongest when they are shared and people welcome each other,” Lehane said. “In the face of growing political uncertainty, it’s important the world continues to come together.

“I firmly believe there is a special responsibility for platforms and technology companies to project the principles their communities hold dear. We see it as our duty and privilege to continue working with communities and leaders in Europe and across the world to help support local families, boost communities and use technology to help bring people together.”

*Projected economic impact and supported jobs data is based on published research by NERA into the top 72 cities across Europe, and Airbnb data. Airbnb projections on travel trends take into account Council of Europe member states only.