Everyone back to ours! People of Hull urged to host City of Culture visitors
Published 15/08/2016 | 14:36
People in Hull are being encouraged to throw open their doors to visitors from across the world during the city's tenure as UK City of Culture next year.
The call to embrace the "everyone back to ours" atmosphere comes amid predictions that the expected hundreds of thousands of visitors will overwhelm Hull hotel capacity.
Hull 2017, along with Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, has launched the Homestay challenge backed by TV designer Linda Barker.
Those taking part have been told they could also make money, as well as immerse themselves in the events taking place.
Martin Green, CEO and Director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, said: "Every resident of the city is the face of Hull 2017 so we want them to embrace the 'everyone back to ours' spirit by throwing open their front doors.
"After all, what better way is there to learn about a culture than to dive in at the deep end and live with its people who can offer an authentic home from home experience?"
Anthony Yates, visitor economy manager for Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, said: "City of Culture is expected to bring in an extra million visitors to the city from all over the world.
"Whether it's friends and family or an interesting visitor who you've rented your room out to, we want each and every guest to have a fantastic experience and leave with a lasting impression that Hull is a city with a personality like no other."
James McClure - from the hospitality listing site Airbnb - said: "In the last 12 months, listings on Airbnb in Hull have increased by 227% as people start to recognise the economic potential of City of Culture.
"The region already offers some unique accommodation from a gypsy caravan and a Hobbit Hole, to an orangery in the grounds of a stately home and a Grade II Listed country manor.
"But with the average host in Hull earning £127 a week, it's worth considering listing your property too."
When the American photographer Spencer Tunick worked with 3,200 naked volunteers painted blue to create some of his trademark images in Hull last month, city centre hotels were reported to have been at full occupancy.
Linda Barker launched the campaign by creating an outdoor showroom featuring locally sourced Scandinavian-style furniture to reflect Hull's connection with Northern Europe.
She said: " Hull boasts some fantastic treasure troves where you can pick up second-hand items that, with a little bit creative thinking, can be given a new lease of life.
"There's never been a better time to turn your spare bedroom into a unique piece of Hull culture."
Anybody who accepts the Homestay challenge will be able to sign up for training, offered by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire to hospitality and tourism professionals.