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Airbnb announces ‘Empowering Local Tourism Entrepreneurs’ partnership

Airbnb to train local officials across all 76 provinces to boost hospitality standards and help locals onboard homestays to its platform.

THAILAND – Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, and the Thailand Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration (DLA), announced the ‘Empowering Local Tourism Entrepreneurs’ partnership — Airbnb’s first official partnership with a government agency in Thailand.

Through the partnership, Airbnb and the Ministry of Interior’s DLA will work together to train local provincial officials on hospitality, hosting and compliance standards; and onboard existing homestays onto Airbnb’s global platform.

Suttipong Juljarern, Director-General, Department of Local Administration, Ministry of Interior, and Mike Orgill, Airbnb Director of Public Policy for Asia Pacific, jointly launched the partnership at Chulalongkorn University Alumni Association on Tuesday.

As part of the partnership, Airbnb and the Ministry of Interior’s DLA agree to:

  • Conduct training sessions focused on sharing information about Airbnb, and how to use the platform to distribute tourism income to local communities across Thailand
  • Train officials on hospitality, hosting and compliance standards to raise the quality of local homestays
  • Equip officials with the digital literacy skills to help locals create and manage their own listings on the platform
  • Build a local community of hosts in each province who can support and learn from each other

The launch was followed by a country-first joint training workshop conducted by three Airbnb Superhosts and Community Leaders, and guest speakers from the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Provincial Administration and the Thai Immigration Bureau.

Over 100 Thai officials attended the workshop including representatives from the Provincial Office for Local Administrations, and selected local administrative organizations in the tourism sector across 11 provinces. The provinces are: Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Ayutthaya, Petchaburi, Songkhla, Satun, Ubon Ratchathani and Sukhothai.


Mike Orgill, Airbnb Director of Public Policy for Asia Pacific:

Airbnb is a global platform, and we have worked with governments around the world to help distribute tourism income to local communities in underserved areas. Through this partnership, we will empower the Muang Rong (secondary cities), the Thesaban (municipalities), and the Tambon (sub-districts) to transform themselves into communities of local hospitality entrepreneurs, which are an integral part of Thailand’s booming tourism industry. This new generation of local tourism entrepreneurs is something envisioned by nations around the globe as a new driving force of tourism.”

Mich Goh, Airbnb Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia:

This is an exciting step forward for our community here in Thailand and a nod to the positive benefits that Airbnb is bringing to local tourism. We are committed to working with the Ministry of Interior’s DLA to support local homestays across Thailand by empowering communities with important hospitality skills and connecting them to an international network of travelers, while promoting responsible and sustainable travel. By promoting digital inclusion and the effective use of our platform to attract inbound guests domestically and abroad, we will help drive economic growth in areas that have not traditionally benefited from tourism.”

Suttipong Juljarern, Director-General, Department of Local Administration, Ministry of Interior:

The Department (DLA) believes the partnership with Airbnb will strengthen communities across the country and encourage the formation of a comprehensive ecosystem for tourism management. Digital technology fosters real-time audiovisual communication and connections between local communities and guests around the world, and will surely encourage economic development in rural areas. This will help us achieve the United Nations’ and the Royal Thai Government’s goals to alleviate poverty, as this additional stream of revenue for locals means the improvement of their living standards in all respects.

The training workshop will help promote development in local areas by sustainably building accommodation capacity, and upskilling and empowering officials to become professional community managers. It also prepares locals to be ready to host and welcome both Thai and foreign tourists to their communities. This will help them provide the best hospitality experience and further attract returning travelers.”

Saroth Oonwattananukool, Airbnb Superhost:

As a passionate Superhost, I love to meet guests and share my favourite tips so they can enjoy the local, authentic side of Thailand. Inspiring people is important to me, and I want my guests to feel inspired by Thai hospitality, culture and modern architecture. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my knowledge with local officials, who can impart these hospitality standards and skills to homestay owners in their provinces!”

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