Originally published on August 2, this story was updated on Wednesday, August 8, to include new details about the Airbnb contest.
Just days after announcing a contest to win a one-of-a-kind sleepover in a watchtower on the Great Wall of China, Airbnb called it off after receiving mixed feedback on Chinese social media sites.
According to the South China Morning Post, one user wrote, "The Great Wall is a historical relic under protection, how can they let it be turned into a common guest house?!" while another said, "So now even ancient relics can be rented to guests for a profit?"
"One of the goals of our Night At The Great Wall was to highlight how everyone can play a part in honoring and preserving this incredible piece of world history," Airbnb said in a statement. "We partnered with experts to help educate people about the Wall’s heritage and raise awareness of protection and preservation efforts."
However, Airbnb has already taken the contest page down and replaced it with a statement that confirms that while they had an agreement in place for the event, they are choosing to respect the feedback they received and are are no longer moving forward with the contest.
Original Post August 2, 2018: Originally built as a border, the Great Wall of China now attracts millions of travelers hailing from around the world each year. While most of them don’t get to spend the night on this architectural wonder, Airbnb is changing that.
Between September 4 and 7, 2018, Airbnb is partnering with the Beijing Tourism Development Committee to host four lucky winners and their guests for an overnight stay on the Great Wall of China.
From 12 p.m. Thursday, August 2, until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, August 11 (all times are Beijing Time Zone or GMT+8), visit Airbnb’s Night at the Great Wall contest page and answer these two questions in 550 characters or less:
Why is it more important now than ever to break down barriers between cultures?
How would you want to build new connections?
If you win the contest, you and your guest will be flown to Beijing on or around September 3, 2018 courtesy of Airbnb. Once you arrive at the Great Wall of China, you’ll take a short hike to the watchtower that Airbnb has transformed into a bedroom. There you’ll have a chance to settle in before sitting down for an intimate sunset dinner featuring a variety of Chinese cuisines and live music.
To be eligible to win, you and your guest must both be at least 21 years old, have a valid passport, and be free to travel from September 3 to 9, 2018. You also must be a resident of the United States, United Kingdom, India, Japan, Korea, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, or China (including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) and be fluent in Chinese, English, French, Japanese, or Korean to qualify.