Airbnb launches Healthy Tourism Office

Airbnb launches Healthy Tourism Office

Don’t worry, we were a bit confused by the name too.

At first, we thought the office would be dedicated to making sure travellers eat all their greens and find the time to work in a morning jog.

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Actually, it’s a new initiative to drive local, authentic, and sustainable tourism across the globe.

These ideas are nothing new to the home-sharing platform- they’ve been pushing travellers to immerse themselves in cultural experiences off the beaten track since they began ten years ago.

“Travellers have discovered new destinations and neighbourhoods off the typical tourist path, bringing the economic benefits of tourism to small businesses and local residents around the world,” Airbnb said in a statement.

“Building off of this work through partnerships, programs and events, Airbnb will expand its efforts to economically empower communities, drive travel to lesser-known places, and support environmentally-friendly travel habits with the Office of Healthy Tourism.”

According to new data from Airbnb, 88 per cent of hosts around the world already incorporate green practices into hosting, such as using green cleaning products, providing recycling, encouraging guests to use public transportation, and installing solar panels.

79 per cent of guests also said they decided to use Airbnb because they wanted to live like a local, and 66 per cent of guests said the environmental benefits of home sharing were important in their choice of Airbnb.

Last year, the home-sharing platform put its money where its mouth is and opened the Yoshino Ceder House in a rural community that was slowly disappearing due to an ageing population, low birth rate, and exodus of young people.

Since the house opened, Yoshino has hosted hundreds of guests from 32 countries, and 70 jobs have been supported in this small town by the spending of hosts and guests.

According to Airbnb, the Office of Healthy Tourism will continue to focus on rural regeneration everywhere, from small villages in Italy to the countryside in China, to help bring the economic benefits of tourism to areas that want to welcome more travellers into their communities in a locally sensitive, sustainable way.

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