How Airbnb is supporting tourism recovery in Scotland

An effort to ease pressure on tourism hotspots by spreading travel more widely across the country could be the key to tourism recovery in Scotland, supporting more than 33,500* Scottish jobs.

Airbnb aims to help spread the benefits of tourism right across Scotland
Airbnb aims to help spread the benefits of tourism right across Scotland

Scotland has always had a healthy international market as a destination of choice, but travel restrictions over the past 18 months have seen many holidaymakers look closer to home for weekends and longer breaks.

Airbnb is playing a key role in the boost to the post-pandemic recovery in the region, which is benefitting from the jobs it produces in local communities at this crucial time.

The local tourism economy already sees £70 million and 3,300* jobs supported by guests on Airbnb in the region each year, both by guests staying at accommodation listed on Airbnb and businesses in their supply chain. Now Airbnb is launching further initiatives and campaigns to strengthen the local economy further.

Investing in Edinburgh

Airbnb has announced a £200,000 Edinburgh Community Fund, which is generated by £5 from each stay that took place in Edinburgh during August, plus additional funds from Airbnb. The money will be donated to local good causes and the first four recipients will be announced soon.

Paula Ward, Regional Leadership Director at VisitScotland, said: “We welcome the move by Airbnb to create a Community Fund and use its network of accommodation providers in Edinburgh to reinvest in the local community. This is a great practical example of how to redistribute the benefits of tourism to groups within the communities. Tourism brings so much to the city, it is a force for good, creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it.”

Lowlands campaign

Airbnb has also announced a £200,000 community fund to support local causes in Edinburgh

Airbnb aims to spread the economic benefits of tourism to more rural and lesser known areas of the region. While city breaks and the Highlands typically top the wish list, Airbnb says the Lowlands has so much to offer.

Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, said: “We want to shine a spotlight on the often overlooked stays and experiences that the Lowlands has to offer, from independent distilleries and unique bookshops to a Dark Sky Reserve and captivating coastlines.

The campaign not only reaches out to tourists but also encourages businesses to either offer up a space for accommodation or provide an Airbnb Experience to tourists.

According to a study by BiGGAR Economics that was commissioned by Airbnb, travel on Airbnb boosts the Scottish economy by £677 million a year and supports more than 33,500 Scottish jobs and nearly £70 million a year in revenue to the Lowlands.

Find out more about the campaign here.

* Based on a 2020 study by BiGGAR Economics, commissioned by Airbnb