Airbnb Hosts And EU Policymakers Discuss Future Of European Travel
As the summer travel season begins and the EU prepares for further easing of international travel on July 1, Hosts on Airbnb from across Europe met with European policymakers last week to discuss the future of tourism.
The productive discussions focused on how best to work together to rebalance tourism and ensure that the return of travel is safe, sustainable and benefits everyone. There was an emphasis on the need for clear and fair regulation for short term rentals and how best to support local, rural communities to deliver authentic experiences to travelers.
According to Airbnb’s recent Airbnb Report on Travel & Living, rural travel is a top summer trend as European travelers are getting ready to travel again. In May 2021 the volume of cross border search in Europe more than doubled compared to April and we are seeing a surge in interest in less populated destinations. In 2015, rural travel accounted for less than 10 percent of nights booked globally on Airbnb. From January to May 2021, it accounted for more than double that and was even triple that in some countries, including France (45%) and the UK (48%).
"We’ve been in training for pandemic isolation in my rural area for 200 years! Post pandemic, people are more than ever seeking escape, which can be found in our green and quiet rural areas with lots of space for family activities, near to family and friends they usually live far away from." Marielle Terouinard, Host on Airbnb from Eure-et-Loir in France.
Last month, Airbnb announced the biggest top-to-bottom upgrade of the Airbnb service inspired by the major shift in how people are traveling. The announcement highlighted steps that streamline and simplify the process to become a Host. Half of new listings that were both activated and booked in early 2021 got a reservation request within four days, and the average annual earnings per Host who had welcomed at least one guest was $9,600.
The session also delved into the topic of regulation and the need for a harmonized approach to short term rental regulations that are fair and proportionate for home sharers in Europe. Airbnb recently announced its support for industry specific proposals on short term rentals at EU level, highlighting new progressive agreements with France, Greece and the Netherlands and the roll out of the new City Portal tool that gives governments and tourism organizations access to data, insights and compliance tools.
These proposals were detailed in Airbnb’s pledge to The Great Rebalance of European Travel, a series of commitments to work with communities across the region, spreading economic benefits to more people and preventing the return of the overtourism phenomenon, where too much tourism is concentrated in too few places.
Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 900 million guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer one-of-a-kind stays and unique Experiences that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way.