Alternative accommodation marketplace Airbnb has started to move swiftly in the Indian market and is now looking to offer more authentic Indian experiences on the platform. As the travellers are now exploring beyond the obvious tourist attractions, Airbnb is trying to offer accommodation in the new regions that are attracting these travellers and in order to boost the number of options available to them, the rental platform has signed a MoU with Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA).
With this association, Airbnb will work with the members of SEWA to help them share their homes and host domestic and international guests. This will not only help them get more quality listings on the platform but will also create economic opportunities for the women in rural India and boost tourism in the region.
The initiative has been piloted in Gujarat and will soon move to other states as well. Together they will also explore partnership opportunities with various state governments, academic institutions, media and other civil society organisations.
“By partnering with SEWA members to offer homestays on Airbnb, we hope to offer an authentic experience of rural India for travellers while ensuring that the benefits of tourism flow back to the rural community,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb India country manager.
Airbnb will offer training to SEWA members on home sharing and responsible hosting practices. Currently Airbnb claims to have around 18,000 listings in India with half of the hosts being female. This association should translate into better experience for the guests while also inspiring more confidence to book.