Airbnb partners with Thai state bank to promote homestays

United States-based Airbnb, one of the world’s most successful startups, announced a partnership with Thailand Government Savings Bank last week to support and promote the Kingdom’s ‘hospitality entrepreneurs’ to gain a more significant share of the tourism market.

In their collaboration to tap into the Kingdom’s lucrative tourism market, Airbnb will mainly provide training to bank officials and to people and groups offering homestays, while the bank will offer loans with low interest rates and flexible terms to grassroots entrepreneurs in the homestay market.

Despite a burgeoning hotel sector with a wealth of world-renowned luxury resorts, reliable budget accommodations, and everything in between, Thailand’s homestay market is relatively new and so provides opportunities for growth.

Bank President Chatchai Payuhanaveechai said the partnership would support local sustainable tourism while diversifying income distribution to communities across Thailand. He said building the homestay sector also aligns with the government’s policy of promoting tourism to secondary cities to help their economic growth.

In unveiling the partnership, Airbnb and the bank said they had trained bank officials and 29 Thai homestay groups, including participants in the bank’s ‘Smart Homestay 2018 Competition.’ That competition evaluated and honored outstanding homestays from a variety of provinces across Thailand.

Mike Orgill, Airbnb General Manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, said that his company would engage in train-the-trainer sessions to equip bank officials with the skills to use Airbnb’s global platform efficiently. Those officials would then cascade their knowledge to homestay owners under the bank’s programs.