Airbnb is on the hunt for the world’s craziest spaces and will help foot the bill to build them. Whether it’s the next boot, UFO house or treehouse, the first-of-its-size $10,000,000 OMG! Fund is seeking ideas from existing and aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers from around the globe. The fund’s $10 million will help finance 100 of the craziest ideas, giving 100 people an opportunity to turn them into actual Airbnb OMG! Category listings, which are Airbnb’s collection of the most unique homes.
Starting today, anyone with an out-of-this-world idea can submit an application at airbnb.com/omgfund. One hundred people with the 100 craziest ideas will receive USD $100,000* (approx $144,277 AUD) each to make their creations possible and, ultimately, bookable. Ideas will be judged by an expert panel for their originality, feasibility, the experience the space will provide guests, and sustainability.
The OMG! Fund is a passion project from Airbnb and co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky — inspired by his background as a designer and entrepreneur — to financially assist in creating the most unique spaces around the world. Standout design is integral to Airbnb, and it’s where the Airbnb story began, when two of our founders hosted their apartment to make ends meet during a design conference.
The fund is shaped in part by the growing trend of flexible living that has emerged in the past two years. As part of this shift, Airbnb guests are craving more unexpected spaces that become the destinations themselves, and Airbnb Categories, which launched last month, provide a new way to search for these spaces. More than 30,000 unique listings across the world were added to Airbnb in 2021 and the OMG! Category – which has one of the highest rates of engagement among guests browsing Airbnb – showcases the craziest amongst them, making it easy for guests to discover these listings in places they wouldn’t have otherwise looked.
Hosting on Airbnb provides powerful economic benefits to Hosts and their communities. In 2021, the typical Host in Australia earned over $12,400 AUD. Booking fun and unique listings are on the rise, nights booked at unique properties increased globally by over 49 percent from 2019 to 2021.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand echoes Chesky’s passion for unique spaces especially amongst Australians.
“Now more than ever Aussie’s are are looking to maximise their travel and stay in unique spaces to create a full experience with their holiday. With the recent launch of Airbnb’s Categories and the popular OMG! Category, it has never been easier to find fun exciting listings. From tiny homes with breathtaking landscapes, to treehouses in the mountains and a picturesque van called ‘Stevie’, Australians are looking for the out of the ordinary to help take a break from everyday life.
“It’s also the perfect time to become a Host on Airbnb and it’s easy with a simplified process in just 10 easy steps. You’re in full control of your availability, prices, house rules, and how you interact with guests, and each and every reservation is covered for free by our Million Dollar Host Guarantee as well as our Host Protection Insurance. And now with the OMG! Fund, Airbnb can help Hosts stand out from the rest.”
Emily Stygall, Host of one of Australia’s most wishlisted unique listings, Alkira Eco-Glamping Retreat said.
“It definitely helps having a unique Airbnb listing as there are so many options out there, so it really makes a difference to have something special. I’m meeting so many people from all over the world who are seeking a unique stay, more so than the location itself!
“I’ve travelled the world, and whenever I stay somewhere else, I like to bring aspects of each location home with me. My mum is an artist and she taught me the value of collecting these little treasured items.
“In the 5 years since becoming a host, I’ve leveraged the popularity of my Airbnb to allow me to express my creativity and connect with hundreds of people in the process. ”
Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel of boundary-pushing design authorities, an architectural expert and an Airbnb OMG! Category Superhost:
Iris Apfel, incomparable and irreverent centenarian style icon
Koichi Takada of Koichi Takada Architects, founder of Sydney-based global firm known for emotive design inspired by the natural world
Kristie Wolfe, Airbnb Superhost and prolific creator of OMG! Listings including the Potato Hotel, Crystal Peak Lookout, Big Island Treehouse and the forthcoming Shipwreck House
Bruce Vaughn, Disney alum and Airbnb’s VP of Experiential Creative Product
The $10,000,000 OMG! Fund opens today for a period of 30 days, through July 23 at 1:59 pm AEST. The 100 fund recipients will be selected by the panel over the next several months, with the intent of having their newly-constructed spaces complete next year.
For more information, including a list of eligible countries, see the Official Rules.
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