In order to boost the tourism industry in the state, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has entered into collaboration with vacation rental company Airbnb, to help micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality sector grow their business through four key pillars of support- training, enabling, access and promotion.
This is the first such initiative in the country, and this Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme will boost tourism prospects in Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Palghar districts. Airbnb will create a training programme for MTDC to identify quality destinations, homes and entrepreneurs. It will train the selected entrepreneurs in technology, hospitality, financing, regulations and promotion. These could either be home owners or people willing to help homeowners rent out their rooms through Airbnb.
Airbnb and MTDC have decided to connect selected entrepreneurs with local partners to offer them access to technology, address language barriers and provide mentorship support. Once entrepreneurs are ready to host travellers, Airbnb will partner with content creators to promote homes to tourists around the world. MTDC will also use its promotional platforms to support the entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the association, Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra, said, “Tourism is not only a source of revenue for the state, but is also key source of growth for local communities. In Airbnb, we have found a global partner whose vision to create skilled micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality and home stay ecosystem to further expand Maharashtra’s tourism potential. This is the first-of-its-kind tourism initiative in India where the Government has used the revenue shared by a partner to create a program to benefit various underprivileged communities in the State. With new innovative initiatives like this one, together with Airbnb, we aim to attract a larger global audience and exponentially boost tourism in Maharashtra.”
Chris Lehane, Global Head of Policy and Communications, Airbnb, said, “Airbnb is committed to create 50,000 hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India and the Accelerator Programme is a major step towards realising this. In the first year, we expanded to 500 hosts across the state. Now we are planning to expand this programme in a phased manner with focus on particular regions and ultimate across the state.”
Homestays have been generating immense interest lately, with a lot of organizations trying to bring together the unorganised and fragmented segment and increasing focus on this space, by helping them get more publicity and exposure on social media platforms.