Home sharing giant Airbnb has created a new ‘Office of Healthy Tourism’ campaign aimed at helping to disperse travelers away from destinations struggling with overtourism.
Airbnb describes it as a global initiative to promote rural stays and drive local and sustainable tourism while helping empower communities to support environmentally-friendly practices.
It is an expansion of similar initiatives it has been involved in at a local level in countries such as Japan, Italy and China.
“With travel and tourism growing faster than most of the rest of economy, it is critical that as many people as possible are benefiting – and right now not all tourism is created equal,” said Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Head of Global Policy.
“In order to democratize the benefits of travel, Airbnb offers a healthy alternative to the mass travel that has plagued cities for decades.”
The company appointed a Tourism Advisory Board to drive the message which includes former secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai and ex WTTC chief David Scowsill.
Airbnb released new data which found 66% of guests said the environmental impact was a key issue when deciding where to stay while 89% chose an Airbnb home because it was more convenient compared to most hotels.
“Airbnb supports tourism that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable,” Lehane added.