Recently enacted amendments to the UK’s home sharing regulations now permit homeowners to share their abodes for up to 90 days a year. Since prices are typically much more reasonable compared to full-service hotels and B&Bs, visitors are able to enjoy longer vacations while living much like a resident.
On the flipside, homeowners who register with services like Airbnb can leverage a little extra income from their homes to offset their living costs. As the concept has caught on, Airbnb has achieved a remarkable rate of growth: in 2014 alone, the number of properties listed at the website increased by a whopping 86 percent.
It’s been a fantastic ride for Airbnb but the company still sees plenty of upside – thus the Floating House and its well-publicized waltz down the Thames. The planned itinerary saw the Floating House pass beneath Tower Bridge, cruise past the Houses of Parliament and skirt the London Eye – plenty of opportunity for snapshots and selfies (“housies”?) along the way!
The Floating House’s maiden voyage included stops for community events and overnight stays in some of central London’s most desirable neighborhoods including Chelsea, Westminster and Canary Wharf.
The tour culminated on Friday, May 22nd when the winner (and three guests) of an associated contest organized by Airbnb enjoyed an overnight stay at the Floating House. Their host for the evening, a member of the Airbnb community, arranged for the guests to enjoy spa treatments ordered in from on-demand app PRIV and a private dining experience with food personally prepared by internationally known head chef Robert Ortiz of Peruvian and Michelin-starred restaurants Lima and Lima Floral.
“The Floating House is the ultimate celebration of home sharing and an unforgettable travel experience to bring to the UK,” commented James McClure, Airbnb’s UK Country Manager. “London is already Airbnb’s third largest city globally and one of the world’s top tourist destinations. With these new, clear rules on home sharing we expect more and more Londoners to open their homes to visitors from across the globe.” Not to mention their houseboats. (via © WENN.com)