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21 March 2018, 06:39
VisitScotland has launched a new tourism initiative with Airbnb to give visitors more "authentic experiences" of Scotland.
The Experiences collaboration in Edinburgh will allow Airbnb users to look at recommendations from local experts such as kayaking among Scottish wildlife, making shortbread with a professional baker, and learning to cook with a top food blogger.
The Scottish capital is the first UK city outwith London to host the Airbnb Experiences.
VisitScotland said it will "empower Airbnb hosts to become true ambassadors for Scotland".
Earlier this year, the online room renting service put forward plans to ban Edinburgh landlords renting out their flats for longer than three months after concerns were raised about long-term rents in the Scottish parliament.
VisitScotland said guests staying in a Scottish Airbnb listing last year spent over £1 million per day in local communities.
Riddell Graham, VisitScotland director of partnerships, said: "Tourism today is all about consumer choice and Airbnb is becoming an increasingly popular part of that suite of choices, helping grow the visitor economy through innovative new approaches such as Experiences.
"We know that many visitors now want to combine their traditional tourism experiences with something special that takes them off the beaten track, giving them an authentic experience of Scotland that they won't get elsewhere.
"Experiences offer a good opportunity for existing tourism businesses in Edinburgh, as well as individuals with a passion for the city, to be creative and consider new products and offerings that might appeal to the Airbnb traveller."
James McClure, general manager for Airbnb UK, said: "Airbnb travellers visiting Edinburgh can now unearth hidden gems across the city and immerse themselves in the unique arts, culture, and food for which the city is renowned.
"For locals, Edinburgh Experiences are a great way for people to earn extra money from their interests and meet new people.
"We are delighted to partner with VisitScotland to launch Experiences, spread the benefits of authentic tourism, drive economic growth and empower Airbnb hosts to be ambassadors in Scotland."