AIRBNB

THE LAST DECADE HAS BROUGHT LO­CAL LODG­ING EX­PE­RI­ENCES TO THE FORE

Food and Travel (UK) - - 200 th Issue -

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ments in terms of where we bed down is the pro­lif­er­a­tion of home rental firms like Airbnb. Since its 2008 launch, it’s clocked up 200 mil­lion guests and be­come a house­hold name. James McClure, gen­eral man­ager for north­ern Europe, says: ‘We tapped into the de­sire that trav­ellers want to live like lo­cals and get more out of their ex­pe­ri­ence; to ex­pe­ri­ence cities not as tourists but as lo­cals.’ Its growth shows no signs of slow­ing. Airbnb now of­fers four mil­lion list­ings in 191 coun­tries. Since 2014, book­ings have dou­bled year-on-year and it’s not just due to the num­ber of places avail­able. Price is the core driver, but a hanker­ing for greener, more re­spect­ful travel prac­tices and en­gage­ment with lo­cal cul­ture as well as the free­dom to cook, use wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties and not to be tied to ho­tel meal times are key. By con­nect­ing hosts with guests, the Airbnb Trips app, launched last year, helps vis­i­tors plan to meet lo­cals be­fore they ar­rive.

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