Airbnb ventures off the beaten track to build small town 'hotels'

By John Glenday | Reporter

August 3, 2016 | 1 min read

Spare room letting business Airbnb is seeking to put smaller, less travelled, towns on the map with a community centre construction programme geared toward drawing tourists off the beaten track.

Brainchild of its experimental design group, known as Samara, the initiative has just unveiled its first build in Yoshino, Japan, which will serve as a nexus for locals and visitors.

The new centre in Yoshino will come equipped with a kitchen, communal dining area, living room and bedrooms meaning the community centre will operate as a form of small-scale hotel.

It is hoped such interactions will both encourage residents to sign up for Airbnb and draw tourists away from major urban centres, stimulating the local economy and broadening Airbnb’s presence further.

If successful the scheme could be rolled out further with Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia, saying: “Since we started, we’ve gotten calls from people in the UK, China, Korea, Spain, France, and Italy, all with the same problem.”

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