Who are the most generous hosts in the UK?

tea and biscuits

The Scots have defied their reputation as penny pinchers, to emerge as the most hospitable people in the UK - with hosts in Inverness going furthest to make people welcome in their home.

And this generosity is actually making them money.

Most generous

The research was done by Airbnb.co.uk, an online marketplace which allows people to welcome paying guests into their homes. They looked at the feedback from over 2,500 people who had used the service, and assessed users for the cleanliness of their homes, flexibility, communication, value for money and the accuracy of the description.

They used this information to rate the top five most hospitable cities in the UK as:

1. Inverness
2. Birmingham
3. Bristol
4. Southampton
5. Glasgow

Despite the fact that they hosted the most tourists, and that the research was during over the Olympic summer, London didn't make it to the list.

Pays off

It seems that hospitality paid off for these cities, as visitor numbers soared. In Inverness the number of visitors travelling to the city through the site rose 390%, while it increased 545% in Birmingham and 687% in Bristol.

And it paid off for the hosts too. The website allows you to list your property free of charge, and name your price. People will email you to see if you are both comfortable with them staying in your home, and you get the opportunity to refuse anyone you are not happy with.

Depending on the property and the location, you can charge anything from £40 to £120 for use of your spare room for one evening. There are even people who have invested in the kind of luxury tents that appeal to glampers and some outdoor facilities, and rent their outdoor space for more than £50 a night.

Alternatively, you can take advantage of some of this generosity in order to arrange a stay that won't break the bank - and comes with the opportunity to meet the locals. Double rooms are available in various cities from as little as £40 a night, and if you're not keen to spend time with your hosts you can select to only see properties that you can have to yourself.

There are also some unusual options on the site - including a converted water tower near Portobello Road for £120 a night and a converted trawler yacht in Inverness for £120 a night

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