Source: Airbnb

Key Takeaways

  • Cultural tourism is one of the fastest growing segments, accounting for 40% of all tourism worldwide, according to UNESCO.
  • Airbnb launches Historical Homes Category to make it easier to find homes that offer an authentic cultural, historical stay.
  • Yorkshire Dales in the UK, Guadalajara in Spain and Verbania in Italy are three of the trending destinations in Europe for historical homes bookings.

Airbnb is sharing data that reveals a growing demand for heritage-related travel. In the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy figures shared by Airbnb indicate that bookings for historical homes increased by over 54 percent in 2021 compared to 20191.

To accommodate this growing demand, Airbnb has launched a new Historical Homes category, making it easier for guests to discover almost 20,000 heritage homes in these five countries across Europe – from converted chapels in the UK to centuries-old castles in Germany. To date, the Historical Homes category, offering unique listings of historical significance from the 19th century or earlier, is available in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain with more countries available soon.

As Europe struggles with the cost of living crisis, becoming a Host on Airbnb can help make ends meet. In the UK, for example, typical Host earnings for Hosts listing Historical Homes was almost £10,000 in 2021 compared to just over £6,000 for regular Hosts2. This is equivalent to over three months’ additional pay for the median UK household, just by renting an Historic Home on Airbnb.

“The introduction of the Historical Homes Category is a great driver of travel to heritage homes and it’s a powerful way to encourage people to travel to places they wouldn’t normally visit. We’re delighted to collaborate with Airbnb and welcome this growing appreciation for heritage buildings we’re witnessing across the continent,” - Alfonso Pallavicini, President of the EHHA.

To help owners of historic homes benefit from this growing demand for heritage tourism, Airbnb has launched its Heritage Academy currently available in France, Italy and Spain, giving prospective Hosts a dedicated toolkit and a personal Host ambassador to offer bespoke training and advice on how to become a Historical Homes Host.

“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. 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,” - Emmanuel Marill, Airbnb Regional Director, EMEA.

From as far North as Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland to the Etruscan coastline of Italy, Hosts of Historical Homes are welcoming guests. Among the top trending destinations for stays in historical homes in 2022 are:

  • Stratford-on-Avon (UK)
  • Verbania (Italy)
  • Guadalajara (Spain)
  • Niederbayern (Germany)
  • Lanzarote (Spain)
  • Dumfries and Galloway (UK)
  • Etruscan Coast (Italy)
  • Fränkisches Seenland (Germany)

And here is a selection of some of the most wish-listed historical homes across Europe:

Stay in a Former Abbey at Loch Ness (Fort Augustus, United Kingdom)

Source: AirbnbSource: Airbnb
Source: Airbnb

Villa Front Lake (Blevio, Italy)

Source: AirbnbSource: Airbnb
Source: Airbnb

Beautiful 17th Century Farmhouse (Vilanant, Spain)

Source: AirbnbSource: Airbnb
Source: Airbnb

Old Village Church (Unterkünfte, Germany)

Source: AirbnbSource: Airbnb
Source: Airbnb

“I have been welcoming travelers to my converted 17th century barn for about fifteen years, and on Airbnb for more than five years. Being a Host on the platform allows me to carry out the necessary maintenance works associated with a heritage home. It has also allowed me to meet so many interesting people, most of whom are just as sentimental as I am about charming old buildings and the preservation of our cultural heritage,” - John, Host of a converted barn in Dorset.

About the Airbnb Heritage Academy

Airbnb’s Heritage Academy is currently being offered in France, Spain and Italy. Individuals and organizations residing in these countries can take part in our Host webinars, receive a dedicated host toolkit and be connected with an Airbnb Host Ambassador to receive individual assistance.

About the European Historic Houses Association

European Historic Houses is a non-profit organization representing the owners of private historic buildings, their gardens, and their parks. In consultation with European institutions and based in Brussels, the organization gathers together 27 national associations of private historic houses from European countries and has more than 55,000 historic buildings in its portfolio.

1Comparing nights booked on active historical homes on Airbnb for all of 2021 with nights booked for the same homes that were active in the year 2019. 2Median typical UK Historical Homes Host earnings 2021 vs median typical UK Host (all home types) earnings 2021.

About Airbnb

Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to over 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 1 billion guest arrivals across over 220 countries and regions. Travel on Airbnb keeps more of the financial benefits of tourism with the people and places that make it happen. Airbnb has generated billions of dollars in earnings for Hosts, most of whom are individuals listing the homes in which they live. Among Hosts who report their gender, more than half are women, and one in five employed Hosts are either teachers or healthcare workers. Travel on Airbnb also has generated more than $4 billion in tax revenue around the world. Airbnb has helped advance more than 1,000 regulatory frameworks for short-term rentals, including in 80% of our top 200 geographies. In late 2020, to support our continued expansion and diversification, we launched the City Portal to provide governments with a one-stop shop that supports data sharing and compliance with local registration rules. We continue to invest in innovations and tools to support our ongoing work with governments around the world to advance travel that best serves communities.

About is a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis around the world. operates independently and leverages Airbnb, Inc.'s technology, services, and other resources at no charge to carry out's charitable purpose. The inspiration for began in 2012 with a single host named Shell who opened up her home to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy. This sparked a movement and marked the beginning of a program that allows Hosts on Airbnb to provide stays for people in times of need. Since then, the program has evolved to focus on emergency response and to help provide stays to evacuees, relief workers, refugees, asylum seekers, and frontline workers fighting the spread of COVID-19. Since then, Hosts have offered to open up their homes and helped provide accommodations to 100,000 people in times of need. is a separate and independent entity from Airbnb, Inc. Airbnb, Inc. does not charge service fees for supported stays on its platform.

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