Issuing an official statement, Airbnb said that while it was excited to promote Chinese cultural heritage, it “deeply respect[s] the feedback we have received.” The statement added that “we have made the decision to not move forward with this event,” and is instead working on a number of alternative initiatives to showcase China as a tourist destination.
The original competition would have been the first of its kind, creating an overnight experience accommodated in a custom-designed home situated along the ancient portion of the wall. At sunset, guests would have enjoyed a multi-course gourmet dinner inspired by various elements of Chinese culture along with traditional Chinese music. The next morning, travelers would have embarked on a sunrise hike throughout the countryside where they would learn about the Great Wall from historians.
To enter, entrants were asked to explain, “Why is it more important now than ever to break down barriers between cultures? How would you want to build new connections?”
According to a statement by Airbnb, the point of the contest was to showcase the Great Wall to the world and promote sustainable tourism to China by spotlighting wide ranging efforts to preserve the Wall’s deep heritage and bring Chinese culture to life, as the structure is labeled as one of the greatest architectural feats in human history.
In related news, Airbnb is planning to start luxury mansion and penthouse rentals.