A day before Van Gogh’s 166th birthday, Airbnb has today announced it will donate over €25,000 ($30,000) to the Van Gogh Heritage Foundation. The donation is part of Airbnb’s Community Tourism Programme, a fund launched in 2017 to support local and innovative projects that boost communities, bring people together and preserve local heritage. The donation will mainly be used to attract more visitors by improving the educational tools in the three Van Gogh Heritage centres (Nuenen, Zundert and Etten-Leur). It represents the largest donation to the foundation ever from a tourism partner and the largest from an international actor. The Province of Brabant has in addition committed to supplement the donation, totaling the amount to over €90,000 ($105,000).
In addition to the donation, Airbnb has also worked together with the Van Gogh Heritage Foundation to create 3 new social impact experiences. Social impact experiences are a special category of Airbnb Experiences where Airbnb waives its service fees so that 100% of the earnings go directly to the nonprofit. These experiences, ranging from unique walks in the places Van Gogh painted to hearing untold stories about Vincent’s private life, will add another revenue stream for the foundation in the years to come and will enable visitors to explore beyond the museums, bringing to life the artist's works and spreading tourism across his home region.
Art lover and passionate host, Hans, lives in the town of Nuenen and works as a guide at the local Vincentre museum. On his Experience, guests start at the museum but then go beyond to discover some of the 23 locations that played a part in Van Gogh’s early life. With special access to Van Gogh’s local church, guests are invited to follow in Van Gogh's footsteps and share his sources of inspiration.
Van Gogh’s native soil tour; the master’s roots - Zundert
Theater producer, Peter, born in Brabant, was inspired by van Gogh from an early age. Taking you to Vincent’s birthplace, Zundert, this Experience starts in the parsonage where Van Gogh's father worked and includes a visit to the ‘hands-on’ interactive exhibits at Vincent van Gogh’s House. Peter takes you behind the scenes, granting access to little known places, including the local church where Vincent's older brother was buried.
Host, Vincent, is a local expert on the artist. On this Experience, Vincent welcomes you to his home with a local snack and reveals why the town of Etten-Leur was so influential to Van Gogh, along with one of the artist’s best kept secrets. Discover what inspired Vincent, and what was most important to him as an artist, son, brother and loved one.