Kirkwood Avenue hot air balloon. Photo by Mike Wadell

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from Visit Bloomington. Bloom has republished it here with edits for style and clarity.

Visit Bloomington and Airbnb are launching a new campaign to promote safe travel with a focus on local attractions, unique stays, and experiences that highlight the best Bloomington has to offer. The campaign is a collaborative effort to support the city’s post-pandemic recovery and the many unique local shops, restaurants, and workers who rely on the local tourism industry.

The social media and email campaign will target potential travelers in nearby cities such as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Cincinnati, pushing people to a landing page that features a curated list of nearby stays, experiences, and local businesses to help travelers plan their future trip to B-town. As fall approaches, travelers to Bloomington will enjoy the best autumn has to offer. From scenic waterfront stays on Monroe Lake to epic hikes through Hoosier National Forest, Bloomington’s natural beauty is a delightful surprise on top of the electric energy of a college town in the fall.

“The partnership between Visit Bloomington and Airbnb is a perfect way to connect visitors to off-the-beaten-path overnight stay opportunities while also highlighting restaurants, shops, and attractions that make Bloomington a unique and vibrant destination,” says Erin White, director of leisure marketing and media at Visit Bloomington. “We are thrilled for travelers to explore the Rediscover Bloomington site, plan future visits to Bloomington and support local businesses during these unprecedented times.”  

While Indiana University brings people to Bloomington from near and far, tourism is also a vital part of the city’s economy, which was greatly affected by the pandemic. The partnership between Visit Bloomington and Airbnb to promote nearby travel provides an opportunity to amplify safe opportunities for tourism during these critical months of recovery.

“We’re proud to partner with Visit Bloomington to help highlight everything that makes Bloomington wonderful—the unexpected natural beauty, family friendly activities, great shops and local restaurants,” says Tom Martinelli, Airbnb Midwest public policy director. “We know our guests drive important economic impact to the places they visit, we hope this campaign will help build on that in Bloomington as the city recovers from the effects of the pandemic.”

Bloomington’s diverse landscape for travelers, including numerous family fun activities, fit well within the travel trends on Airbnb. According to a recent study by Airbnb, as of April 30, 2021, family travel has spiked from 27% of overall nights booked in summer 2019 to 33% in summer 2021 globally. According to the same study, the percentage of nights booked for rural travel in 2021 has tripled in the U.S. compared to 2015.

Partnering with Visit Bloomington is part of Airbnb’s work with governments and tourism agencies globally to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. By working with destination marketing organizations, nonprofits, and governments to support responsible and safe travel, Airbnb is helping communities harness these economic benefits for local citizens and small businesses.