Airbnb Launches “Small Villages Project” in Italy

Earlier this year, the President of Lazio Region, Nicola Zingaretti was leading a difficult bid to secure a UNESCO World Heritage Site bid for Civita di Bagnoregio, a small mountain town in central Italy. In April, the Italian Airbnb community took action in support of Civita’s bid. Success seemed unlikely, but within just a few days, thousands of Airbnb guests and hosts signed the online petition and helped put Civita into consideration for world heritage status.

We were encouraged by our community’s support of Civita. More importantly, we are committed to help relaunch tourism in small villages across Italy in a unique and authentic way.

Civita di Bagnoregio

Naturally, we are starting in Civita di Bagnoregio. Last month Airbnb announced a partnership with Civita to renovate and list Greco House — an artist’s home that was severely damaged by a destructive earthquake in 1980. The home will be transformed to its former glory with a dedicated workspace for artists. It will be complemented with exclusive artwork from a world renowned artist to celebrate and inspire creativity. Greco House will also become a bookable listing on Airbnb.

Civita di Bagnoregio

New research conducted by JFC Consultants said that visitors are driven to small villages like Civita by “authenticity, tradition and identity”. They estimate that there will have been 14.7 million guests to small villages in Italy in 2016, up from 13.2 million in 2015.

Data released by Airbnb on World Tourism Day supports this new demand to visit smaller villages.

  • Airbnb guest arrivals in small villages are growing faster than cities. Bookings in small villages are 42 percent higher than in cities.
  • Airbnb guests stay longer in villages (4.6 nights) than they would in a city, which keeps money in the local economy helping small businesses and communities grow.  
  • Airbnb listings in Italy have increased by 90 percent in 2015.
  • Airbnb guest arrivals in Italy are on the rise:
    • Domestic travel in Italy increased by over 200 percent in the past year, with arrivals from China increasing over 500 percent since 2014.  
    • 80 percent of the 2.4 million travellers who stayed on Airbnb in Italy this year were international visitors.

General Manager for Airbnb Italy, Matteo Stifanelli, said: We are proud to support this project that will see a public building turned into a welcoming home for guests to truly experience Civita and live like a local. Projects like this help change the tourism landscape for a village, bringing economic benefits to local businesses and the community, and we look forward to working with the Mayor and residents of Civita to help continue to drive quality tourism to the town and revive its long celebrated arts and cultural history.

Civita di Bagnoregio

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