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Airbnb and Thailand’s Government Savings Bank partner to support local homestays

GSB will help ensure better funding for hospitality entrepreneurs while Airbnb will help build capacity through training and connecting homestay owners to its worldwide platform.

Bangkok, Thailand – Airbnb and Thailand’s Government Savings Bank (GSB) have formed a strategic partnership to help promote and empower Thai hospitality entrepreneurs, starting with local homestay owners. 

Through the partnership, GSB will help ensure better funding for hospitality entrepreneurs by providing flexible-interest rate loans and installment plans. Airbnb will work with GSB to help build capacity through hospitality and hosting training while connecting homestay owners to its worldwide platform and marketplace network of over 500 million guests. 

Dr. Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, President and CEO, GSB, said: “Our joint partnership will support sustainable and creative tourism through a new ecosystem that facilitates access to funding and hospitality training, allowing them to grow sustainably.”

Both GSB and Airbnb pledged to expand business opportunities for Thai hospitality micro-entrepreneurs to help generate income for local communities.

GSB will provide a special loan package – providing grassroots customers with smaller, flexible loans – to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs who meet the Bank’s requirements. 

Airbnb will conduct a series of train-the-trainer model capacity building sessions to equip GSB officials with the skills to navigate and utilise Airbnb’s global platform efficiently, and cascade this knowledge to homestay owners under GSB’s programmes.

Mike Orgill, General Manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Airbnb, said: “Homestays are growing rapidly on our Airbnb platform today. Our host and guest communities are also expanding rapidly beyond major tourism hotspots into upcoming cities like Nakhon Sawan and Chiang Rai.”

As part of the launch pilot last week, Airbnb and GSB trained GSB officials and 29 local homestay groups, including the participants of GSB’s ‘Smart Homestay 2018 Competition’, which recognised outstanding homestays in different provinces across Thailand. 

Participants took part in a series of sharing sessions about Thai tourism and its opportunities, as well as an Airbnb host onboarding and activation workshop for homestay owners. 

Airbnb Superhost, Nitaya Laisuwan, who hosts in a homestay in Bangkok, also shared her personal story and best practices. The passionate host and mother of two is a full-time English teacher who welcomes guests in her 4th generation traditional Thai wooden home, located by Bangkok’s Chao Praya river.

Wichit Methaanankul, Owner of Monhmong homestay in Chiang Mai and one of the final 10 homestays that won the GSB Smart Homestay Competition 2018, cited the partnership between Airbnb and GSB as a great initiative as it would allow homestay owners to connect with, and learn directly from, the platform like Airbnb. He said he planned use Airbnb as a new marketing channel to better reach travellers from other countries.

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Sirima is the Editor-in-Chief of TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific, responsible for the editorial aspects of the online news portal.