There’s no shortage of awesome AirBnBs out there, that’s for sure. At its best, AirBnB lets people get in closer contact with the places they’re visiting, to better understand the culture and the world around them. Still, it’d be a lie to say that much of the propulsive force of the company doesn’t simply come from the desire to land a cool place for Instagram.
If that’s your aim, AirBnB has landed a real doozy. But you’ll have to be a thoughtful traveler to get a look. Today, the company announced that thanks to a deal with the Beijing Tourism Development Committee a handful of lucky travelers will be able to spend the night on the Great Wall of China between September 4th and 7th.
Yep, that Great Wall, and that’s just the start of what will be a bigger cultural experience:
High above the ground, guests will enter their one-of-a-kind modern bedroom created within a centuries-old tower perched along the Wall with 360-degree views offering the perfect vantage point to see the moon and stars. At sunset, guests will enjoy an intimate gourmet dinner with multiple courses, each representing a different aspect of Chinese culture. Dinner will be accompanied by a traditional Chinese music experience, which is bookable year-round for all travelers to China.
This is, of course, part of the wider goal of the company to get more Chinese business while celebrating cultural diversity. The AirBnB press release notes that the number of Americans booking with them while in China has gone up by 60%.
So what do you have to do? Go to the listing and write an essay about how now, more than ever, we need to take down walls between cultures. The four most affecting essays get the overnight stays. So if you believe passionately in understanding the world around you, take a swing; if nothing else, it never hurts to consider how you approach travel and other cultures, and the ethical dilemmas it can present.