- Airbnb and the Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department (CDD) in Thailand forge a first-of-its-kind collaboration to promote community tourism and local hospitality entrepreneurs under the OTOP Innovative Tourism Community Program.
- The first phase of the campaign empowers hosts from Krabi, Chiang Mai, Samut Songkram and Loei to showcase their passions, skills and cultures globally through Airbnb Online Experiences.
- In line with ongoing tourism recovery efforts, Airbnb and CDD aim to onboard Airbnb Online Experiences hosts across various communities from all regions in Thailand by the end of 2020.
In a first-of-its-kind collaboration in Thailand, Airbnb has announced an official partnership with the Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department (CDD) to empower tourism in Thailand by showcasing the country’s local communities to the world through its latest destination marketing campaign – Meet Thailand’s Villages, a Beyond Big Cities initiative.
This long-term strategic partnership follows successful destination marketing campaigns launched by Airbnb in Thailand under its global “Beyond Big Cities” initiative, promoting emerging destinations such as Buriram and Saraburi.
Driving Tourism Benefits to Local Communities
Leveraging Airbnb’s technology and global reach, the first phase of the Meet Thailand’s Villages campaign will showcase unique and authentic travel experiences from some of Thailand’s diverse local communities hosted through Airbnb Online Experiences, Airbnb’s fastest-growing product.
Online Experiences provide a way for local communities to earn income during this time of restricted travel while potentially reaching hundreds of millions of virtual travelers at home and around the world.
“Through the support of Airbnb and its global platform, local hospitality entrepreneurs under the OTOP Innovative Tourism Community Program are provided a unique opportunity to showcase the best of their communities to the rest of the world. We welcome this official collaboration with Airbnb as we continue empowering local communities all over Thailand and ensuring they reap the benefits of our country’s tourism industry.”
Suttipong Juljarern, Director-General of the Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department
“We are delighted to launch this innovative collaboration with Thailand’s Community Development Department that aims to showcase the passions, skills and cultures of local tourism entrepreneurs to the rest of the world through Airbnb Online Experiences,” said Anita Roth, Global Director, Strategic Engagement and Policy, Airbnb. “In a time of restricted global travel, this partnership is a testament of our ongoing commitment to collaborate with the Royal Thai Government and communities, creating and implementing solutions that spread the benefits of tourism to support Thailand’s recovery.”
To pilot this program, Airbnb has collaborated with the CDD to onboard five local communities to host Airbnb Online Experiences. The Online Experiences hosted by Thailand’s local communities as part of this initiative, and which can be booked by guests anywhere around the world, are:
- Fun Fisherman Life, Ocean to Table (Baan Pak Map, Samut Songkram)
- Journey Through Village of Clay Artistry (Baan Muang Gung, Chiang Mai)
- Visit Northern Thai Silversmith Road (Wualai, Chiang Mai)
- Visit the Hidden Thai Village (Baan Na Pa Naad, Loei)
- Nai Nang, the Thai Village by the Ocean (Baan Nai Nang, Krabi)
These Online Experiences hosted by Thai local communities are the latest additions to over 700 Online Experiences available globally since its launch in April 2020.
Empowering Communities Through Digital Transformation
Apart from promoting community tourism, the strategic partnership between Airbnb and CDD aims to play a crucial role in helping local communities navigate Thailand’s digital transformation journey.
Following the launch of the initiative, Airbnb and CDD will work together to select communities that will benefit from hosting Online Experiences, targeting to engage and onboard various communities from all regions in Thailand by the end of 2020.
The ongoing collaboration will include knowledge-sharing and e-learning with a Thai language online resource center to support potential hosts. Over the long term, Airbnb will also be training CDD provincial personnel and their team of marketers who have been recruited to help local community members promote and sell their OTOP products online, with an objective to further empower communities to continue offering local and authentic tourism experiences for travelers globally.
According to a landmark report by Oxford Economics released recently, Airbnb contributed THB43.7 billion to Thailand’s GDP in 2019.* In a post-Covid-19 world, Airbnb’s local, authentic travel can play an important role in Thailand’s tourism recovery and this strategic partnership with the CDD is a testament to Airbnb’s ongoing commitment to working closely with the Royal Thai Government, local communities, hosts and guests.
*The Economic Impact of Airbnb in Thailand, a report by Oxford Economics, 2020.