Cannes Lions

The 1st Start-up Village

AIRBNB CHINA, Beijing / AIRBNB / 2019

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Case Film






Young people in China are leaving their villages for better jobs. With the young generation gone, village culture is in danger of being forgotten.


Airbnb is a successful start-up. What if we used our knowledge in starting-up creatively, and literally teach these villages how to start up? This way, we will be helping them to generate immediate income, as well as building a sustainable business for the future.


We began by working with the Chinese government, soliciting their support as well as asking for their assistance in identifying a village for us to work with. Working with villagers, we then identified the village's biggest asset - their rich and unique culture. We then proceed to reframe the village into a cultural destination.


- renovated two old tilted houses into modern airbnb listing available for tourists all over the world. All revenue will come to the village community.

- launched a host training program to turn villages into professional hosts.

- introduced “The More of Less” - an immersive digital experience that showcased the humble richness of its local culture

- a branded line of local produce from the village was also launched, available through e-commerce.


- 90% booking rate within first 5 months with revenue of RMB 48,000/USD 7,171 equivalant to 12 months of village's income

- 185,236 ppl viewership with limited media investment

- branded local Lohan fruit tea merchandise sales amount to RMB 40,000/USD 5,976

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