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OMG! Airbnb launches $10m OMG! Fund for world’s craziest listing ideas

Hundred people with the 100 craziest ideas will receive $100,000 each to make their creations possible and, ultimately, bookable. Picture: Airbnb

Hundred people with the 100 craziest ideas will receive $100,000 each to make their creations possible and, ultimately, bookable. Picture: Airbnb

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Whether it’s the next boot, UFO house or a 6-ton potato, the first-of-its-size $10,000,000 OMG! Fund is seeking ideas from existing and aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers from around the globe.

The fund's $10-million (about R160 108 180) will help finance 100 of the craziest ideas, giving 100 people an opportunity to turn them into actual Airbnb OMG! Category listings are Airbnb’s collection of the most unique homes.

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Hundred people with the 100 craziest ideas will receive $100,000 each to make their creations possible and, ultimately, bookable. Ideas will be judged by an expert panel for their originality, feasibility, the experience the space will provide guests, and sustainability.

Airbnb guests are craving more unexpected spaces that become the destinations themselves, and Airbnb Categories, which launched last month, provide a new way to search for these spaces.

This is just one of the community-generated photos that notched up the most comments and likes on Airbnb’s Instagram profile in the past year. Picture: Instagram.

More than 30,000 unique listings across the world were added to Airbnb in 2021, and the OMG! Category, which since introduced in May, has been viewed 2.5M times - showcases the craziest amongst them, making it easy for guests to discover these listings in places they wouldn't have otherwise looked.

Hosting on Airbnb provides powerful economic benefits to Hosts and their communities. In 2021, the typical Host in South Africa earned over R27,000. Additionally, nights booked at unique properties increased globally by over 49 percent from 2019 to 2021.

“When the Idaho Potato Commission retired a six-ton prop potato, I took it off their hands and spent $32,000 transforming it into an Airbnb,” Airbnb Superhost OMG! Fund judging panellist Kristie Wolfe said.

“I went from making $13/hr to seeing $208,000 in earnings in less than three years and leveraged that income to bootstrap my way through additional listings that allow me to express my creativity and connect with hundreds of people in the process.”

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Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel of boundary-pushing design authorities, an architectural expert, and an Airbnb OMG!

The $10,000,000 OMG! Fund is open for a period of 30 days, through 23 July at 05:59 pm ET. The 100 fund recipients will be selected by the panel over the next several months, with the intent of having their newly-constructed spaces complete next year.

Read the latest issue of IOL Travel’s digital magazine here.

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