Andrea Hausold - Jul 3, 2017
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Quite often associated with big cities, Airbnb is now investing in rural tourism. This is evidenced by the seasonal report presented last week by the rental website, according to which the supply and demand for the sort of accommodation that fits into this model are now both increasing, with people looking for areas away from major urban centers.

The document shows the results of a survey conducted in 12 countries: Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Ireland and India. Airbnb is increasing its presence in the rural areas of these nations, where the hosts have now welcomed more than 9.4 million guests and earned almost US$ 1.1 billion in the last year alone.

In Latin America, for instance, the number of guests and hosts located away from major cities has tripled between 2015 and 2016. Brazil witnessed a similar effect: the arrivals of people opting for rural tourism accommodation increased from 27,800 in 2015 to 94,400 in 2016, and the revenue earned by their hosts increased from R$ 8.3 million to R$ 25.2 million within the same period.

In the neighboring Argentina, the numbers also show that seasonal renting has become an important accommodation option. The number of guests has quadrupled between 2015 and 2016: from 5,600 to 22,300.

The report also pinpoints the most attractive traits of these rural areas, according to their visitors. For instance, in Brazil, the epicenter is ecotourism, and a recurring property profile is the one evidenced by the house of Daniel and Adhara Luz, which was built in the forest, in Alter do Chão, Pará. On the other hand, the rural tourism in Argentina is more associated with countryside life in itself, with a never-ending supply of resorts, farms, ranches and sites, often in places where “official” accommodation alternatives are non-existent.

In France, the number of ads for rural properties increased 88% throughout the studied period, which coincided with the “Maisons de France” campaign launched by Airbnb, one that intended to foster accommodation in areas originally focused on agricultural production, typical of the country.

A similar campaign was launched in Italy, with a project entitled “Small Villages”, aiming to attract tourists to areas away from the most popular cities. Among them is Civita di Bagnoregio, located in the province of Viterbo, a historical village that, despite only having six inhabitants during the winter, has a house for rent on the website. 

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