A great year ahead awaits the European Historic Houses after its partnership with Airbnb as a sponsor to boost heritage tourism, a kind of tourism that is becoming increasingly in demand and serves as one of the best tools for the promotion of historic houses.
Months after announcing the partnership and Airbnb making public its interest for heritage, the online renting platform reports that approximately 70% of the historic houses being offered are in lesser-known places and greener areas, benefiting local communities, and leaving satisfied guests: 92% of 5-stars reviews!
Airbnb’s commitment with heritage tourism
Launched by Airbnb, the new category entitled “Historical Houses” enables guests to easily access to the rich variety of heritage houses in the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France, while it also promotes the re-opening of such places and its conservation.
With a donation approaching 10 million euros addressed to heritage organisations, the company’s wider commitment to heritage tourism has also contributed through different strategies based on restoration of emblematic buildings, showcasing the diversity of European historic houses, offering a railway travel that runs through landmark cultural heritage places, and the launch of the Heritage Academy in France, Italy, and Spain.
In relation to the partnership, CHARTER dialogued with European Historic House’s Head of Office, Ewelina Oksiuta, to learn whether a sustainable tourism model was developed to protect the environment and local communities in the areas where most of the houses are offered:
“Historic houses are the perfect example of sustainable tourism: they contribute to generating income, benefit local communities by creating employment, engage local schools and communities, and support local production. It is true that after several years of pandemic and restrictions, travellers are looking to get out of the cities and urban centres and discover rural areas.
Sustainable tourism can overcome the effects of mass tourism. In 2021, the ETC published a report on sustainable tourism implementation together with a toolkit of practical resources and a handbook on encouraging sustainable tourism practices. The EC developed the European Tourism Indicators System (ETIS), a management and monitoring tool created to allow destinations to measure their sustainability performance. The tools exist and it is up to the different stakeholders to put them into practice.”
Besides the hosts reservations promoted by Airbnb, other actions are put in practice to enhance historic houses tourism:
Airbnb sponsors trainings on heritage tourism
In this line of interest, European Historic Houses and Airbnb organised an upcoming webinar that will take place via Zoom on 15 March 2023, entitled “How Tourism can be a lever to Heritage promotion and preservation”, giving the floor to different experts of the field from Airbnb such as Georgina Browes, Head of EU Affairs, and Chloé Seifert, Partnership and Program Manager, and from the European Travel Commission Iulia Niculica, Head of Administration.
Airbnb will also sponsor an online educational workshop held together with the last conference of HERIT project on 23 May, whose aim is to provide the acquisition of digital and marketing bespoke skills for the promotion of private historic houses.
The workshop sponsored by Airbnb will last 4 hours, divided in a first part for main-topic discussion, and a second one dedicated to brainstorming activities with participants.
In relation to the skills areas addressed by the training, CHARTER consulted European Historic Houses’ Head of Office if any other set of skills is already identified for future trainings: “Managing a historic house requires versatile skills. We know marketing, digital and fundraising skills are fundamental. In the past, we organised a webinar and a seminar on access to the EU funds owners can benefit from. We also hope to identify the future set of skills and profiles together with the CHARTER consortium.”
Here it is the link to the webinar “How Tourism can be a lever to Heritage promotion and preservation”. Registrations are open until the last day: https://airbnb.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckdO2qqT0iGtLm7eAcBsQt5ZJ6T4R4aTSl
Learn more on the HERIT project by checking their presentation video and accessing the HERIT MOOC Platform.
Image credit: European Historic Houses.