Airbnb management company Houst is expanding its service into a new area.
Houst has identified Kent as an area expecting one of the largest growths in tourism as staycationers book British beach holidays this year.
Canterbury-based entrepreneur James Catto, who will take charge of the business’ operations in the county, explains that: “Travel has shifted from densely populated cities to quieter, more rural locations. In many of these locations, and in Kent specifically, there’s a shortage of hotels and traditional accommodation which is affecting how quickly the local economy can rebound from Covid-19. With hotels set to remain closed until at least May 17 short-term lets are the only way to help fill that gap and support local tourism”.
Tom Jones, co-founder of Houst, is urging owners of holiday homes to put these properties to better use: “Making these properties available to rent on a short-to-medium term basis will allow tourists to discover new parts of Kent, showcasing the best of the county and bringing fresh spending power to local high-streets and businesses this summer”.
Airbnb has caused controversy in some cities, with suggestions that a constant turnover of tourists encourages anti social behaviour and weakens a sense of community.
Jones believes such concerns are valid, but not applicable to Houst: “We don’t want to replace residents with tourists. We’re interested in bringing guests - spenders - to Kent’s towns and villages where otherwise properties would be sitting empty. And holiday bookings are just one arm of our business; we also look for bookings of a few months or more, as well as longer-term tenancies, depending on the homeowner's needs”.
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