Airbnb has signed a partnership deal to donate millions to restoring heritage buildings in the French countryside as it seeks to increase its activity in rural areas.
The US-based firm will be the main benefactor in a funding project by heritage charity the Fondation du Patrimoine called Patrimoine et tourisme local. It aims to allocate funds to preserve architectural treasures in the country, promote this rural heritage, and create new opportunities for businesses in these territories.
Projects will be supported in the public, private and charitable sectors which help to showcase the local heritage, potentially increasing an area’s attractiveness to visitors.
In the first instance, Airbnb has pledged an immediate gift of €5.6million.
Fondation du Patrimoine president Guillaume Poitrinal said “indifference is the worst danger for endangered heritage”, so he is pleased to see Airbnb’s interest in raising its “international visibility” among its users and the public.
With the pandemic boosting people’s desire for open spaces, Airbnb also signed a partnership to give money to rural mayors when new property-owners in their areas sign up with it. The money will go to the Association des Maires Ruraux de France which will use the money to communicate about the partnership and so encourage more residents to rent out property.