Airbnb Cancels Great Wall Of China Stay Contest
Oops! Airbnb seems to be running into a whole lot of controversies these days. From one issue to the next, the budget-lovers’ favourite site connecting BnB homeowners to travellers and explorers has been going through a bad phase. About a week back, Airbnb announced that they were running a contest giving participants a chance to win a sleepover at The Great Wall Of China. While the offer was only for one night and for 4 winners, the offers has sadly been scrapped. The competition entailed users submitting an essay of about 500 words on the topic decided. The contest which was open till August 11 would see the winners announced as early as August 13. The 4 lucky winners were promised a stay at the Great Wall of China for one night along with one guest between September 04 to September 07. Along with the stay, there were also many activities promised to the winners.
However, unfortunately, Airbnb seems to have run into a block (or wall) with the authorities in China who said that the promotion was never given the go ahead and it is against their culture. The contest was apparently not in line with conservation plans for the wall, which is not only one of the 7 Wonders of the world but also a UNESCO world heritage site. Right after the announcement, AirBnb had faced severe flak from locals as well as conservationists questioning how could a respected monument be treated like a normal Bed and Breakfast, without any consideration to the history. Clearly, Chinese authorities feel the same. Post the cancellation, AirBnb released an official statement with regards to the same and has already removed the contest listing from its site. For those who had already sent in their entries, well it’s tough luck but the rental site promises other contests in the future for those interested!
Meanwhile, here’s what Airbnb has to say about the entire saga:
“We were excited to promote the Great Wall and Chinese cultural heritage with our Night At The Great Wall and while there was an agreement in place that was the basis for the announcement of this event, we deeply respect the feedback we have received. We have made the decision to not move forward with this event and instead we are working on a range of other experiences and initiatives that showcase China as a destination and highlight how people-to-people travel can drive human connections.
One of the goals of our Night At The Great Wall was to highlight how everyone can play a part in honoring and preserving this incredible piece of world history. We partnered with experts to help educate people about the Wall’s heritage and raise awareness of protection and preservation efforts.
We remain committed to that goal and in the weeks and months ahead, we will be working closely with our hosts and guests in China as well as community leaders to highlight the culture and history that make China one of the most dynamic destinations in the world. China is one of our most important markets, where we have built a number of partnerships with local leaders and organizations to promote sustainable, local and authentic travel to China.
Promoting unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences while preserving historic destinations has long been one of our top priorities. In recent years, we have held similar events at unique or historic sites around the world that were produced in cooperation with more than 70 well-known tourist destinations. We look forward to continuing this important work in China and around the world.
If you entered the contest, we’re very sorry for any disappointment caused and we will be in touch in the future about other ways you can explore and discover amazing experiences in China.“
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