(Yicai Global) July 9 -- Airbnb Plus, an up-market tier of homestay rentals platform Airbnb, has had a more than six-fold increase in summer bookings for China amid surging demand.
Destinations close to first-tier cities saw a sharp rise in bookings, the San Francisco-based company said in a press release. Airbnb summer reservations surged 14 times in the Yanqing holiday resort near Beijing and seven times in the capital's Fangshan district.
"Airbnb Plus is a selection of only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail," according to its official website.
The top five destinations for family trips in China were Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangzhou, the statement said, citing a survey of well-traveled families and students. Popular student choices include second- and third-tier cities such as Changchun, Wuhu, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan and Foshan.
Airbnb estimated its direct economic impact in 30 countries last year at more than USD100 billion. China ranked 10th together with Portugal and Germany, according to the platform's recent survey.
Belonging to the Airbnb community is very attractive to both home owners and travelers. Eighty-six percent of owners believe they are part of the Airbnb community and nearly 50 percent of renters say Airbnb is their only choice of accommodation on their trips, the survey showed.
Traveling to niche destinations has become a new trend, the company said. China's inbound tourism saw a nine-fold increase to China's northwestern Qinghai province, while Chinese visitors to Southeast Asia and visa-free countries such as Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkan region has jumped five-fold.