Airbnb postpones “creative” holiday cabins competition

Worldwide: Airbnb has postponed its recently-launched international competition to find the most “creative, unusual and unique” holiday rental cabins across the world.

The company only announced the Unique Airbnb Fund project in March on the eve of the global lockdown due to the coronavirus, as it sought to discover ten teams who would design, deliver and host a “one-of-a kind” $100,000 [£81,000] cabin to accommodate customers for one night on its platform.

Airbnb said in a statement that the cabins contest would be relaunched next year, in anticipation for when the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.

“In light of the developing news around Covid-19, we thought long and hard about the best way to prioritise entrants’ health and safety, as well as supporting the ability to comply with the various local shelter in place and social distancing rules imposed around the world.

‘While we will continue to examine the global feasibility of carrying out the efforts of the Unique Airbnb Fund, we are pausing the Unique Airbnb Fund at this time and are hopeful we’ll be able to reopen entries in 2021,” it read.

Airbnb had assembled a judging panel to assess applications for the Unique Airbnb Fund, including Superhost Kristie Wolfe, singer Billy Porter and Dutch global operating architecture and urbanism practice, MVRDV.

The criteria for applicants to be able to participate was to own their own plot of land for their proposed rental, have a property listed on Airbnb that needed renovation, or be in the middle of an improvement or refurbishment project that could be added to the booking platform.

Winning concepts would have be uniquely designed, have an element of surprise in terms of shape or decor, and promote sustainable, environmentally-friendly measures.

The winning teams were due to be named by 15 May, and receive $100,000 in prize money in three instalments by mid-October at the latest.