It is expected to be one of the busiest weekends of the decade in London when people flock from all corners of the globe to join the celebrations for the coronation in May.
Airbnb, the world’s biggest self-catered accommodation platform, is enticing new hosts with the offer of a £100 “travel coupon” for those taking their first guests over the long weekend.
Hotels are expecting bumper demand for the coronation weekend. Gordon Drake, the chief executive of the Doyle Collection, which includes the five-star Kensington Hotel, said its would be fully booked for the coronation by next week. He said that bookings from the US were particularly strong.
Airbnb launched the incentive scheme, which gives people money off another of its properties, to increase its stock of property. It says that the scheme will encourage Londoners to “make the most of the increased demand” and cited the Platinum Jubilee last year when hundreds of thousands of people descended on the capital.
Airbnb data shows that in total hosts in London earned more than £7.1 million during the jubilee celebrations, with the typical landlord earning just over £500 between June 2-5 last year.
Amanda Cupples, general manager for northern Europe at Airbnb, said: “When it comes to significant events this year, it doesn’t get bigger than King Charles’s coronation.
“Home sharing helps cities use existing space to scale up their capacity, welcome visitors during peak demand, and empower locals to provide sustainable and affordable accommodation, benefitting the local economy.”
The King and Queen will be crowned at Westminster Abbey before travelling in the Gold State Coach to Buckingham Palace. A concert will be held at Windsor Castle the next evening, with thousands of members of the public, chosen by ballot, in the audience.
The concert will feature a coronation choir, which will include amateur singers picked from choirs such as those made up of refugees, NHS staff, LGBT singers and deaf people. A choir made up of singers from across the Commonwealth will join them remotely.
On the bank holiday Monday people will be encouraged to volunteer in a scheme called The Big Help Out.
“It’s a big weekend for London to show itself at its best,” a source familiar with transport plans said. “The planning for Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral was meticulous and the transport ran without a hitch.
“The planning will be similar for the coronation. We are expecting huge numbers of people to descend on central London, especially on the Saturday, and Network Rail and Transport for London are working to make people’s journey’s hassle free.”
However, some businesses have been criticised for ramping up prices for the weekend.
Axel Hefer, the chief executive of Trivago, said hotel prices were more than 60 per cent higher this year than last for the night of May 6.