Airbnb welcomes new Thai Tourism policies

Airbnb, the American unicorn startup, welcomed new policies advocated by Thailand’s new Minister of Tourism and Sports that support short-term accommodations as a means of attracting more tourists to the country.

“We particularly welcome the Minister’s commitment to prioritizing short-term accommodation reform in Thailand,” said Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia. “It is recognized that more travelers from Thailand and abroad are choosing to stay in short-term accommodation such as Airbnb listings and that the rules need to keep pace.”

On his first day in office, new Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan told Thai media that his priorities would include short-term accommodation reform and growing tourism in secondary cities.

Thailand is a global tourism success story. Arrivals have risen every year for the past three decades, exceeding 38.2 million in 2018, and the industry accounts for roughly 10 percent of gross domestic product. One strategy that has helped the Kingdom maintain growth in recent years has been to diversify and promote new and niche segments of the market.

One of the fastest-growing market segments is homestays or accommodations, particularly among younger travelers. But tourism industry leaders and analysts have said that some Thai laws and regulations could inhibit the growth of that segment and should be reformed.

“Clear and innovative rules for short-term accommodation would create more opportunities for Thai hospitality entrepreneurs and help generate more income for local communities, especially those in secondary provinces,” Goh said.

“Airbnb stands ready to work with the Government in the coming months on developing clear, innovative rules for short-term accommodation in Thailand,” she added.

Photo Courtesy of