Airbnb signs MoU to expand reach in rural areas

Ahmedabad, Nov 24 (IANS) Airbnb, a community-driven hospitality company, on Thursday announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Self-Employed Womens Association of India (SEWA) to create tech-enabled rural livelihood opportunities through its home sharing platform.

Through the partnership, Airbnb will work with SEWA members to help them share their homes with Airbnb’s community of international and domestic guests, creating economic opportunities for women in rural areas and promoting tourism spend in rural India. The announcement was made via a statement.

As part of the partnership, Airbnb and SEWA agree to expand the network of Airbnb homes in rural areas through SEWA’s member network. The initiative will begin in Gujarat and eventually expand to other states that have a significant presence of SEWA members.

They will also train them for hosting standards, and promote SEWA homes to a global and national audience.

“The partnership is an important step in Airbnb’s commitment to enable economic empowerment for female entrepreneurs and promote digital inclusion in rural areas”, said Thao Nguyen, Airbnb’s Director of Policy Partnerships, Asia Pacific.

“Our mission is to democratise travel and through the partnership, we can help promote economic opportunities across diverse communities, help revitalise the rural economy and help prevent distress migration to urban areas, particularly among women and the youth.”

Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb India Country Manager, also said: “Today’s partnership, along with our recent MoU with the Government of Gujarat, signals our commitment to work with local stakeholders to build a model of home sharing that contributes to the local community.”