Whilst large technology corporations are often criticised for their lack of involvement with the community, it appears peer-to-peer giants, Airbnb, are breaking the mould. Joining forces with VisitScotland, Airbnb are taking the lead of a new tourism initiative; one that aims to celebrate the authenticity of Scotland.

As the second UK city to host ‘Airbnb Experiences’, Airbnb users can enjoy a real snapshot of what Scotland has to offer.

The Experiences collaboration in Edinburgh will allow Airbnb customers to access and consider recommendations from a variety of local thought leaders. For Scotland, these include those offering services and experiences such as kayaking among Scottish wildlife, making shortbread with local bakers, and cookery classes with famous bloggers. By doing so, the scheme can “empower Airbnb hosts to become true ambassadors for Scotland”.

Although the home rental business is going to great lengths to promote Scotland in all its glory, it does have a chequered history with the area. At the beginning of 2018, Airbnb revealed plans to limit Scottish landlords to renting out properties for up to three months.

This followed concerns over long-term rents in the Scottish parliament, believing Airbnb to be blurring the lines between holiday rentals and long-term agreements. However, with this new tourism initiative, its seems Scotland and Airbnb are very much on the same page.

Riddell Graham, VisitScotland director of partnerships, said:

“Tourism today is all about consumer choice and Airbnb is becoming an increasingly popular part of that suite of choices, helping grow the visitor economy through innovative new approaches such as Experiences.

“We know that many visitors now want to combine their traditional tourism experiences with something special that takes them off the beaten track, giving them an authentic experience of Scotland that they won’t get elsewhere.

“Experiences offer a good opportunity for existing tourism businesses in Edinburgh, as well as individuals with a passion for the city, to be creative and consider new products and offerings that might appeal to the Airbnb traveller.”
Airbnb is equally as thrilled to be working with Scotland. James McClure, the General Manager of the UK division of Airbnb, said:

Airbnb travellers visiting Edinburgh can now unearth hidden gems across the city and immerse themselves in the unique arts, culture, and food for which the city is renowned.

“For locals, Edinburgh Experiences are a great way for people to earn extra money from their interests and meet new people.

“We are delighted to partner with VisitScotland to launch Experiences, spread the benefits of authentic tourism, drive economic growth and empower Airbnb hosts to be ambassadors in Scotland.”

Let us know what you think; who should be named as Airbnb’s next Experiences partner?