NASSAU, BAHAMAS - The travel industry, including Airbnb, has been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. While there will continue to be great uncertainty, Airbnb booking data shows that travel is beginning to bounce back in recovering countries. To further strengthen recovery efforts, the platform is unveiling a new program to work hand-in-hand with local authorities, tourism agencies, and nonprofits to promote domestic tourism and economic growth in these destinations.
Among the first strategic alliances around the world are:
- Discover Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
- Bermuda Tourism Authority
- Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation
- National Park Foundation, United States
- Visit Florida, United States
- Visit Denmark
- French Association of Rural Mayors
- Hadong-gun, South Korea
- Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, China
Since the pandemic began, the percentage of Airbnb bookings for destinations within 200 miles, a round-trip travelers can generally complete on one tank of gas, has grown from one-third of all bookings in February to more than half in May.
Tapping into the demand for nearby excursions, Airbnb has updated their app and homepage to make it easier for travelers to book local trips, including last-minute getaways. The platform updates include features highlighting domestic vacation ideas and nearby getaways.
To help guests rediscover the magic in their backyards, Airbnb will also launch Travel Close, a summer digital campaign to promote both nearby excursions and Airbnb's recently launched Online Experiences.
The growth of domestic tourism is already a reality in the regions and countries in the recovery phase. In Europe, Airbnb data is showing growth in Spain, which in the last two weeks (May 24 to June 06) had more nights booked on Airbnb compared to the same period last year in destinations such as Mallorca, Menorca, Huesca, Costa Tropical and Lanzarote. In France, from May 31 to June 06, there was an 80% growth in local reservations, followed by Germany with a 60% growth. Italy, which was strongly affected by the pandemic, showed an increase of 20% on local reservations in destinations such as Lake Como, Aosta Valley, and Venice.
Airbnb bookings in the United States are also recovering at an accelerated rate. From May 17 to June 06, there have been more nights booked for travel to Airbnb listings in the US than there were during the same period last year.
Last weekend (June 05-07), for the first time since February, the platform recorded year-over-year growth in gross booking value (not including cancellations or alterations) for all Airbnb bookings made worldwide.
As the future of travel continues to evolve, we will encourage only safe tourism to ensure guests have amazing experiences. As part of this work, in April, Airbnb announced an improved cleaning protocol that sets industry standards for the platform's hosts.
In tandem, Airbnb will continue to work with governments to help restore travel in a responsible way that economically benefits locals and small businesses.