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Brief Published: 16 May 2016

Airbnb Uses Art as Hospitality Hook

Obliteration Room, Yayoi Kusama

London’s Tate Modern art gallery and global accommodation-sharing website Airbnb have teamed up for a project with Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama. Known for her polka-dot and mirrored environments, Kusama will bring the worlds of hospitality and art together in a creative explosion of colour and space.

Airbnb hosts with a listing in the Greater London area can apply to have a spare bedroom transformed by the artist this summer, turning their setting into a high-impact and memorable ‘living art’ installation. One winner will be selected from the applicants based on their submission – a 50 to 300-word description of their property and why it is suitable for a creative makeover. Once the artistic installation is in place, hosts will need to keep it in good order for six months.

This approach will appeal to a new generation of travellers who value experience over ownership, seeking adventures and Instagram-worthy moments. See Travel for The Experience Collector for more on this consumer mindset.

This initiative is also reflective of the maturation of the ‘sharing economy’, as private vendors and accommodation-sharing brands look to further differentiate their offers with enhanced services and premium touches. Hospitality’s Evolved Sharing Economy explores this development in detail.

This initiative takes its cue from hotel-led collaborations with artists and likeminded brands (see The New Branded Hotel for more), as well as the established retailer/art hook-up approach for fuelling creative store design (see Art-Fuelled Fashion Spaces).