When Airbnb guests travel to DC, they often stay in neighborhoods that are removed from the typical downtown hotel tourist scene. In doing so, they often shop and dine locally, pumping money into small businesses across the District’s eight wards. Last year alone, Airbnb guests in DC spent $160 million at local shops and restaurants, bringing powerful economic activity to the nation’s capital — particularly East of the Anacostia River, a large community encompassing two of DC’s eight wards and without a single hotel.
In partnership with Go Anacostia, close to twenty Airbnb hosts and their families recently visited small businesses in the Historic Anacostia neighborhood. Hosts had the chance to meet owners and hear more about their history, operations, and offerings to visitors. The event kicked off at The Anacostia Arts Center, where hosts mingled with Airbnb DC staff and learned about the community center’s offerings.
The group then headed over to Check It, which is both a documentary film and a brick and mortar store in Anacostia. The film tells the story of a group of LGBTQ youths who banded together as a gang to protect themselves from violent harassment and later created economic opportunities for themselves by selling retail items and fashion goods.
After stopping by neighborhood hot spots District Culture, Turning Natural, and The Anacostia Playhouse, hosts enjoyed delicious pizza from Mamma’s Kitchen. The local eatery was originally located in New Orleans, but was displaced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and later relocated to Anacostia.
The final stop of the tour was the Art-Drenaline Cafe, whose mission is to hire and train Ward 8 residents to work in hospitality and service industry establishments, and prepare natural and healthy meals for their community.