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Airbnb’s Slumber Party At The Great Wall Of China Has Been Canceled
By Izza Sofia, 09 Aug 2018
Image via Shutterstock
Airbnb has decided to call off its competition where one lucky individual stood a chance to spend a night on the Great Wall of China.
The company had offered keen parties a chance to experience its “first ever sleepover” on the Great Wall by writing a 500-word essay on how to overcome cultural boundaries. The lucky winner would receive a multi-course gourmet dinner, traditional Chinese entertainment, and a night’s sleep in a ruined watch tower on the Great Wall.
The competition, however, sparked criticism from Chinese citizens. They expressed concerns over the exploitation of the landmark for advertising purposes, which led to Beijing authorities taking action.
Chinese newspaper People Daily reported that the Beijing Yanqing Cultural Department—which oversees the area where the sleepover was being planned for—said it was not aware of the aforementioned event and added that no approval had been given to Airbnb to execute this idea.
The competition has also drawn unhappy responses from Chinese citizens. One user wrote on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, “If you really want to eat and drink on the Great Wall for one night, are you not afraid of polluting the environment? I’m afraid it’s a gimmick, just an advertisement.”
Following widespread critique, Airbnb said that it “deeply respects” the feedback and decided to cancel the event. The company issued a statement saying that it was excited to host the ‘Night At The Great Wall’ competition to promote the Great Wall, as well as the Chinese heritage and culture to its customers.
It added that “while there was an agreement in place that was the basis for the announcement of this event,” the company has decided not to proceed following the feedback it has received.
Airbnb is working on other kinds of experiences for its customers to experience China as a holiday destination and show how “people-to-people travel” can increase human connections.
According to Quartz, Airbnb has a relatively complicated relationship with China due to an increased amount of competition locally, as well as regulatory issues with regards to foreigners visiting the country.
Visitors have to declare information to the local police station and this has led to complications involving Airbnb rentals. Airbnb has even take on a Chinese name to appeal to China and has promised to submit relevant foreign passport information to authorities.
Airbnb ends offer of stay at Great WallPosted by People's Daily, China on Tuesday, August 7, 2018
US home-sharing platform #Airbnb has suspended a plan to provide lodging on the...
[via Standard, opening image via Shutterstock]
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