‘Historical Homes’ category spreads love for heritage travel across Europe

Launched just over a year ago in July 2022, Airbnb’s Historical Homes category supports our commitment to heritage tourism and makes it easier for people to enjoy Europe’s rich heritage. A recent analysis of the impacts of the category shows how heritage tourism can divert bookings away from Europe’s most saturated tourist hotspots, reducing pressure on those destinations during peak travel periods and allowing guests to explore further afield.

Across Europe, the category has been rolled out in France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czechia and Denmark. Since then, over 2.5 million nights have been booked1. Other notable data from the past twelve months include:

Historical Homes concentrated in rural areas

Our latest data shows that only 3% of Historical Homes in EMEA are in high density urban areas, with the vast majority of homes in the category located in rural or low density urban areas2. Historical Homes on Airbnb are located predominantly in rural areas in Europe (67%), closely followed by low density urban areas (30%). High density urban areas contain just 3% of the Historical Homes on Airbnb in Europe3.

Far from the madding crowd: most wishlisted heritage homes 

Looking at the Historical Homes that have been added most to wishlists, we’ve identified the heritage homes inspiring most wanderlust – many in off the beaten track destinations.

Villa Torno, Lake Como, Italy

La Grotte du Moulin, France

10th Century Medieval Castle, Spain

Highland Castle, Scotland

Dollarbeg Castle, Scotland

Studio with a pool at Chateau Rauly, France

Villa Torno, Lake Como, Italy

La Grotte du Moulin, France

10th Century Medieval Castle, Spain

Highland Castle, Scotland

Studio with a pool at Chateau Rauly, France

Dollarbeg Castle, Scotland

Top trending heritage destinations: rugged coastlines and rustic retreats

From the rural charm of Guiclan in Brittany to the mountainous beauty of East Mani on the Greek mainland, popular destinations in the Historical Homes category invite guests to create their own chapter in history. Top trending destinations in the Historical Homes category across Europe4 include:

Coux et Bigaroque-Mouzens, Dordogne, France

Erligheim,  Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Marburg, Hessen, Germany

Ciutadella de Menorca,  Menorca, Spain

Llanes, Asturias, Spain

East Mani, Laconia, Greece

Castellana Grotte, Apulia, Italy

Racale, Apulia, Italy

Solihull, West Midlands, UK

Heritage earnings: helping fund essential repair work

Heritage travel not only plays a vital role in helping to disperse tourism outside of city centers and spread the benefits of tourism to more rural areas, it can also help the owners of historic properties fund essential repair work. Hosts on Airbnb now offer over 52,000 heritage stays in Europe5, collectively earning over 320 million euros since the category launched – with the typical Historical Home Host on Airbnb in EMEA earning just under 5,700 euros since launch6.

“I have been welcoming travelers to my converted 10th century medieval Castle on Airbnb for more than 10 years. Being a Host on the platform allows me to carry out the necessary maintenance works and ongoing reforms associated with a heritage home. It has also allowed me to meet so many interesting people who make the castle a place connected to the world.”

Marc, Host of a renovated castle in Catalonia.

Countries with the highest supply

France, Italy and the UK are the countries in EMEA with the largest offering of Historical Homes. Looking at sheers number, countries with the highest quantity of Historical Homes7 are as follows:

France: 20,000

Italy: 12,000

The UK: 11,000

Spain, 3,800

Germany: 1,800

Airbnb’s commitment to heritage

Airbnb’s work on heritage in the Europe this year includes:

A special night at Palais Garnier which involved Airbnb’s support to the restoration and enhancement of the Parisian Opera’s heritage, including an ongoing project to restore the Palais Garnier boxes. Airbnb’s contribution also funded the development of the Opera’s streaming platform, bringing together all of the Paris Opera’s audiovisual content to a wide audience, all over the world.

A night in the home of the founder of the modern Olympics, a 16th century Château in France which was recently restored to its original grandeur with the support of the IOC and Airbnb’s Heritage and Local Tourism program.

Financial support for the restoration of regionally and nationally significant cultural monuments in Germany in partnership with Schlösser und Gärten in Deutschland e. V.

A partnership with the Portuguese non-profit association Aldeias Históricas de Portugal to promote the development of tourism in the interior of Portugal through its network of Historic Villages.

A partnership with The Danish Club to help support the group’s conservation of historic houses in Denmark.

The creation of local heritage guides in France to promote sustainable tourism in lesser known destinations.

Donations to heritage associations across Europe to boost heritage tourism and help restore some of the continent’s most important historical attractions and homes. Donations have been made in France, the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany.

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