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Airbnb’s Flexible Search boosts sustainable travel in Europe

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Decentralized: Travelers are choosing more rural stays, skipping popular European destinations, says report | Photo: Veerasak Piyawatanakul

A first-ever analysis of the impacts of Airbnb’s flexible search features – including ‘Categories’ and ‘I’m Flexible’ – shows they are diverting bookings away from Europe’s most saturated tourist hotspots and peak travel dates in support of more sustainable travel trends, according to a company report released at Web Summit last week by Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer. 

Airbnb launched its flexible search tools Categories (May 2022), I’m Flexible (May 2021) and I’m (Even More) Flexible (November 2021) to create a new way to search for travel and provide a tech-driven solution to mass tourism by helping guests discover homes and communities beyond saturated tourist hotspots and at different times of the year. Around 1 in 20 stays on Airbnb are currently booked using flexible search features.

The new report ‘How Airbnb Supports Sustainable Travel In Europe’ includes the first analysis of the impacts of Airbnb’s flexible search tools on dispersing travel. It shows a shift in bookings from several top destinations to less popular destinations—both across destination cities, and across neighborhood destinations within cities. This trend is continuing despite a general resumption of pre-pandemic travel patterns. Early insights and highlights include:

Flexible search is also helping to redirect guests approximately five miles farther away from their initial intended location within cities, compared to traditional searchers on Airbnb. Neighborhood-level analyses of flexible search users for the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, London, Prague and Rome show a consistent shift from booking in the most popular neighborhoods in favor of bookings on the outskirts of the cities or in other areas altogether: 

In Amsterdam, flexible bookers more often stay outside the city’s inner limits (+32.5%) compared to traditional bookers, whereas in Barcelona, flexible bookers are less likely to book in the two most popular areas of Eixample and Ciutat Vella than traditional bookers (respectively, -7.1% and -13.4%).

In Lisbon, Portugal, flexible bookers are more likely to stay outside of the city center compared to traditional bookers (+42.6%) and less likely to stay in the most touristic districts of Santa Maria Major and Mesericordia (respectively, -20.1% and -15.8%). And in London, flexible bookers are more likely to stay outside of the City of London (+29% compared to traditional bookers) and less likely to stay in the most popular districts of Westminster and Camden (respectively, -17.8% and -23.9%).

Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb Co-Founder, launched the report during the Web Summit 2022 | Photo: Stephen McCarthy

’’We want Airbnb to be part of the solution to challenges associated with the growth of tourism, and to support sustainable travel trends,” said Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “We are encouraged by the early insights into the impacts of flexible search, which are spreading guests and the benefits of tourism beyond busy tourist hotspots. Airbnb will continue to invest in the growth of flexible search to support the responsible and sustainable growth of travel, while making it easier for anyone, anywhere to become a Host on Airbnb.”, says Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer

The early analysis of flexible search on Airbnb highlights an acceleration of already sustainable, decentralized travel trends on Airbnb in Europe, which are primarily driven by European guests. The profile of guests using Airbnb in Europe is more European than at any point in Airbnb’s history. As Airbnb’s guest profile in Europe has become more European, travel has become more dispersed. In 2019, the top 10 most visited cities on Airbnb in the EU – including Paris, Barcelona and Rome – accounted for 20 percent of all trips in Europe, whereas they account for just 14 percent of trips in 2022. The popularity of rural stays has also grown, increasing by 55 percent when comparing the first three quarters of 2019 to the same period in 2022.

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£125,000 in grants awarded to UK creatives to support careers in screen arts

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Emerging creative from low socio-economic backgrounds are amongst the talent receiving bursaries.

BAFTA announced over £125,000 in grants have been awarded to 69 talented creatives to support their career development in the screen arts.  

This year, grants of up to £2,000 each have been made available to 58 emerging creatives including production assistants, costumer designers, writers, game designers, and camera and sound trainees to help them progress in their respective crafts. The grants will go towards essential costs such as driving lessons, specialist equipment, training and relocation costs that might otherwise lock talented people out of a screen arts career.  

The Prince William BAFTA Bursary scheme is named in honour of BAFTA’s President. Kickstarted with the support of film director Paul Greengrass, it is now in its fourth year.

For the first time, BAFTA is also awarding grants to individuals who have been forcibly displaced in collaboration with the Refugee Journalism Project. £30,000 in funding has been awarded to 11 recipients including journalists, editors, directors and videographers.  

The Refugee Journalism Project builds on BAFTA’s recent work with Counterpoint Arts – highlighting the importance of authentic portrayals of refugees on-screen, including recent events with BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and activist Hassan Akkad, a masterclass with BAFTA award-winning director Waad al-Kateab, and ‘Introduction to Filmmaking’ workshops with Deadbeat Films. 

Supporting the next generation of talent is an essential part of our mission. The Prince William BAFTA Bursary Fund is a fantastically effective way to kick-start careers, particularly for those who face socio and economic inequality. The bursaries are transformative for career starters, enabling them to buy an essential piece of kit, secure training, or in some cases it’s as simple as getting driving lessons so they can get to set! There is no shortage of potential in our workforce. Unfortunately, the opportunity to act on that potential is all too often limited by financial barriers. So, I’m delighted to continue The Prince William BAFTA Bursary Fund, thanks to our incredibly generous network of donors and supporters,” says Jane Millichip, CEO of BAFTA.

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Qatar museum opens exhibition revealing new voices from the Arab world

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Qatar museums opens exhibition revealing new voices from the Arab world
"Take Shelter" is one of the films showing during "Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices" | Photo: still courtesy © LA CHAUVE-SOURIS

Qatar Museum has opened Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices, a major exhibition coinciding with the 60th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, bringing together works by filmmakers and video artists from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. On view at ACP Palazzo Franchetti (through 24 November), the exhibition presents a journey in moving images through contemporary experiences of community life and memory, transnational crossings and exile.

Your Ghosts Are Mine is produced by Qatar Museums and co-organised by Doha Film Institute, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the future Art Mill Museum in collaboration with ACP Art Capital Partners and with support from Media City Qatar. It is curated by Matthieu Orléan with Majid Al-Remaihi and Virgile Alexandre, with exhibition design by Federico Martelli and Clément Périssé. The advisory committee includes Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Zeina Arida and Catherine Grenier.

The exhibition explores themes such as deserts, ruins, borders, exile and women’s voices through films supported by Doha Film Institute and video works from Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the future Art Mill Museum.

The works span fiction, documentary, animation and memoir. Included are excerpts from works by over 40 artists including Faouzi Bensaidi (Morocco), Jessica Beshir (Ethiopia), Ali Cherri (Lebanon), Tala Hadid (Morroco), Joana Hadjithomas (Lebanon), Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Soudade Kaadan (Syria), Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho), Asmae El Moudir (Morocco), Amal Al-Muftah (Qatar), Shirin Neshat (Iran), Larissa Sansour (Palestine), Abderrhamane Sissako (Mauritania), Elia Suleiman (Palestine), Ramata-Toulaye Sy (Senegal), Tariq Teguia (Algeria), Shaima Al Tamini (Yemen), plus works by Wael Shawky, Lida Abdul, Hassan Khan and Sophia Al Maria.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums and Doha Film Institute, said, “Your Ghosts Are Mine will open the eyes of international viewers to the ideas, feelings, and artistic visions of today’s filmmakers from the Arab world and neighbouring regions. With this exhibition, Qatar Museums advances its mission of encouraging understanding across borders, while Doha Film Institute continues to nurture rising talents of our region.”  

A schedule of film screenings accompanying the exhibition is available here.    

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Thousands of free travel passes available to travel around Europe

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A solo traveler in Europe
Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days

Starting this summer, thousands of young people will once again travel around Europe by train for free thanks to the latest call of the DiscoverEU programme. Today at 12:00 CET during the European Youth Week buzzing with activities, the Commission launched the latest DiscoverEU application round. It will end on Tuesday 30 April at 12:00 CET.

In total, 35,500 travel passes are available. To get one, young people born between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006 can do a quiz with five questions about the EU and one additional question on the European Youth Portal. Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days between 1 July 2024 and 30 September 2025.

The call is open to applicants from the European Union and countries associated to the Erasmus+ programme including Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Türkiye. Ticket holders can plan their own routes or be inspired by existing ones. For example, they can discover a route launched last year, which focuses on cities and places making the European Union ‘beautiful, sustainable and inclusive’ in line with the principles of the New European Bauhaus.

Participants can also benefit from the DiscoverEU Culture Route an initiative of the 2022 European Year of Youth that combines various cultural destinations including architecture, music, fine art, theatre, fashion and design. Participants can visit the European Capitals of Culture which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List,  European Heritage Label sites, or Access City Award label locations, which are cities that have gone above and beyond to become more accessible to everyone.

Participants will also receive a discount card with over 40,000 discount possibilities on public transport, culture, accommodation, food, sports and other services in eligible countries. Additionally, Erasmus+ National Agencies organise pre-departure information meetings, and national agencies across all Erasmus+ countries prepare DiscoverEU Meet-ups, learning programmes lasting from one to three days.

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