Home rental website AirBnB have released a beautiful video advert to coincide with Pride season.
The video, which went online yesterday, features several LGBTI couples talking about their relationships, discovering the world with each other, and the challenges in finding places that welcome LGBTI people.
It’s being promoted with the hashtag #HostWithPride
The inclusion of one gay male couple, who have been together 36 years, illustrates how times have changed. The pair talk about how when they first travelled together they would routinely be given rooms with twin beds.
‘As we celebrate Pride and strive for a world where we all can belong anywhere, we made this film with our friends at Molecule,’ said a statement accompanying the video on YouTube.
‘We look forward to helping create a world where all love is not only accepted, but welcomed, everywhere we go.’
One lesbian couple talk about their upcoming marriage, and the challenges in planning a honeymoon ‘as a queer couple’.
‘Travelling as a gay couple, some countries are less friendly than others,’ agrees a male couple.
A couple – one of whom is a trans man – say that they ‘pass as a straight couple’.
‘If people knew that I was trans, that we were queer, would these people talk to us? Would they be kind to us?’
A lesbian mom says, ‘You never want to come across a situation, where you’re with your child and you’re going to deny you’re a family or pretend like you’re a mother and an aunt.’
‘Travel breaks down barriers’, says one of the older couple, ‘because people see you. You’re no longer a mystery.’
A spokesperson for AirBnB told Gay Star Business that the company will also be taking part in this weekend’s Dublin Pride following Ireland’s convincing referendum result in favor of same-sex marriage. The company have arranged to have a honeymoon-themed float on the parade.
‘At Airbnb, we believe in celebrating pride, diversity, and creating a world where people can belong anywhere. Diversity is at the heart of our host community – and our LGBT host community highlights the unique and original flavor of different cultures across the world.’
In recent months, an LGBTI site similar to AirBnB, called MisterBnB, has picked up a large following: to the extent that it was able to secure itself $2million (€1.8million) in seed funding earlier this year.
MisterBnB – which is gay-owned and recruits primarily LGBTI hosts – says it exists to find travellers accommodation in LGBTI-friendly homes.
The LGBTI travel market is estimated to be worth in excess of $180billion (€170billion) worldwide.
AirBnB has proved hugely successful since it launched in California in 2008. It now carries 1,200,000 listings worldwide in more than 190 countries. A recent valuation puts its market value at $20billion (€17.9billion), placing it second only to Uber ($41billion/€36.7billion) in terms of recent travel start-ups.