Today, Airbnb announces the launch of Experiences in Chiang Mai, one of its fastest growing markets in Thailand. The introduction of Airbnb Experiences in the northern Thai city will continue to support the creative and cultural capital as an ever popular global travel destination.
Airbnb welcomed more than 160,000 guest arrivals into Chiang Mai from over 135 countries in 2017, with an average growth of 71 percent year-over-year. Airbnb Experiences allow travelers to enjoy unprecedented insider access by offering magical, handcrafted activities, powered by local experts looking to share their passions. From immersing themselves in the Hmong community to learning about the traditional Yantra tattoo, Airbnb uses technology as a platform to connect people and create powerful cross-cultural interactions.
Travelers are increasingly interested in exploring authentic experiences through the eyes of locals. This is not just about foreign travelers either; domestic travel is also on the rise with a 60% growth in domestic guest arrivals from last the past year. Locals are finding new ways to rediscover and enjoy the magic and hospitality of what their country has to offer.
Parin Mehta, Airbnb Director of Experiences, Asia Pacific
Globally, Airbnb offers 13,000 Experiences across 180 cities around the world. In Thailand, Chiang Mai is the second largest market for Experiences after Bangkok. With a surge in demand, Airbnb has now expanded its platform across the country, where individuals or professional tour guides in Thailand can now request to list on the platform and connect with the global network of more than 300 million Airbnb travelers.
In a panel discussion with the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I), Creative Chiang Mai and Chiang Mai University today, Airbnb reinforced its commitment and support for Chiang Mai’s hospitality entrepreneurs and the local Thai community.
As tourism in Thailand continues to grow rapidly, it is increasingly important to promote sustainable travel. We are heartened that Airbnb is empowering entrepreneurs and strengthening communities, by providing a global platform for them to share their passions and businesses.
Mr. Worapong Phukpoo, Head of Research Section, Thailand’s Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I)
Mehta further explains:
Travel should be powered for the people, and by the people. Our Thai Airbnb community is poised to take Thailand’s tourism industry to the next level. Experiences are a great way for creative entrepreneurs to tap into their passions and unlock economic opportunities through our platform.
Social Impact Experiences are also being launched which involve local non-profit organizations working with Airbnb to develop Experiences that will help the communities they serve and engage in meaningful social courses around the globe. Airbnb waives all fees and ensures that all proceeds go directly to the non-profit supported by each Experience.
Below are a few Experiences on offer in Chiang Mai:
- Learn about a Hill Tribe Life. Visit the Hmong and Karen villages and explore traditional stilt bamboo houses. Visit a local farm and village school and expect to be the only visitors there.
- Thai Traditional Yantra Tattoo. Visit a small village, Samnak, where you will meet Nikom, who was previously a monk. He will talk about the different patterns and meaning behind the geometric, animal and deity designs used in traditional Thai tattoos.
- Make Your Thai Herbal Ball. Kanokwan will impart her knowledge around various infused oils and their properties as you learn to make your own Thai herbal ball. End the session with a herbal hot compress massage.
- Weaving with Hill Tribe Villagers (Social Impact). Work with the Sa-ngob Foundation which aims to preserve and share old world artistic and cultural knowledge. You will witness how villagers prepare rice terraces and source natural products to create the pigments before learning traditional weaving techniques.
- Learn how to make Kow Soy Noodle. Waya will teach you her mother’s special recipe, which was selected for Northern Thai food database by Chiang Mai University.
The Airbnb Press Room is aimed at journalists. All Homes and Experiences referenced on the Airbnb Press Room are intended purely to inspire and illustrate. Airbnb does not recommend or endorse specific Home or Experience listings on the Airbnb platform.