Bridgend Farmhouse and LOVE Gorgie Farm are amongst those who have received grants
An initiative that sees local charities receive donations from Airbnb bookings is paying dividends.
Airbnb has announced that it will donate £200,000 to local causes in Edinburgh as part of its Community Fund initiative. Airbnb launched the Edinburgh Community Fund in June to ensure locals benefit directly from tourism this summer as the city rebuilds from the pandemic.
The £200k donation includes funds generated from £5 from each stay that took place in Edinburgh during August and additional funds from Airbnb to ensure rounded donations of £50k to each organisation. The fund has received support from VisitScotland and the Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network.
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.”
This commitment from Airbnb ensures that the local Edinburgh community will benefit from every guest stay this August and works in a similar way to tourist taxes which Airbnb collects and remits globally, generating more than £2.5 billion in tax revenue for 29,000 jurisdictions around the world. According to research by Edinburgh City Council, guests on Airbnb would raise around one-fifth or one-quarter of total revenue from a potential tourism tax in the city.
Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, said, “The Community Fund demonstrates how each stay on Airbnb can directly contribute to Edinburgh’s recovery from the pandemic. The fund puts additional money into the local community, supplementing the money earned directly by local Hosts or spent by guests in the community. After a difficult period for charities during the pandemic, the Community Fund is playing a valuable role in helping important community-led organisations to recover and thrive.”
The allocation of the fund involved hosts from Edinburgh and community organisations. The final recipients are:
• Bridgend Farmhouse: A community owned and run charitable organisation in south Edinburgh with a mission to ensure the renovated farmhouse exists as a sustainable community-owned centre where all can learn, work and grow together to develop a flourishing community and place.
• LOVE Gorgie Farm: Offers a wide variety of social, educational and environmental programmes. The farm’s education centre provides education and wellbeing services to children, young people, adults and the community as a whole and include animal and nature therapy, creating educational tools that encourage new generations to create a brighter and eco-friendly future.
• Edinburgh Remakery: An award-winning environmental social enterprise committed to diverting waste from landfill, building a stronger community, and promoting a culture of repair.
• Pilton Youth & Children’s Project: Rooted in the local community and committed to enabling each young person to realise their unique potential and to take a positive role in society.
Claire Pattullo, chief executive of Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network, said, “ESE and Edinburgh TSI were delighted to support this fantastic initiative by Airbnb to ensure some of the income from their visitors and hosts directly benefit some of the most disadvantaged communities in Edinburgh through these well-loved local charities. It is even more inspiring to see that three of the organisations receiving these awards are social enterprises who ensure all their profits go to supporting local communities.”
Earlier this year, Airbnb launched The Great Rebalance of European Travel, a series of commitments to work with communities across the region to ensure that the return of travel is safe, sustainable and benefits everyone – spreading economic benefits to more people and preventing the return of the overtourism phenomenon.