Travel | May 22, 2019 8:57 am

Airbnb and 23andMe Have Joined Forces on a “Heritage Travel” Campaign

Fill out your family tree and book a room

Airbnb and 23andMe Have Joined Forces on a “Heritage Travel” Campaign

Since 2014, Airbnb’s seen a 500% increase in travelers using the site as part of a mission to trace their roots. In an April 2019 study, the booking site determined over half of Americans travelers have visited at least one country of their ancestry. These numbers lend credence to a growing trend called “heritage travel,” which helped jumpstart Airbnb’s new campaign with 23andMe, a seamless family tree-to-home rental platform, now featured on its site.

The sentiments behind heritage travel aren’t anything new. We’ve all heard writers and musicians wax nostalgic about “the motherland,” or longed to know our private histories beyond names jotted in an old census. But it’s never been easier than now to A) learn where your family comes from, and B) go walk those exact fields and roads.

That sort of connection means a lot to people. A whopping 57% of Americans surveyed said they would give up alcohol for a year just to have a free heritage trip. (Significant, considering how often people pay top dollar on vacation to go … drink.) And unsurprisingly, these trips are most commonly taken in pairs or solo, by those aged 60-90.

Enter the new collaboration, which allows users to find homes in regions and countries where they have genetically confirmed roots. We would highlight the Airbnb Experiences, though, as potentially a greater way to connect with one’s heritage. Even Airbnbs deep in the Irish countryside have Hulu now, so it might be more fruitful to, say, scale the cliff-fort of Caherconree, a mountain that features deeply in Irish mythology.

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