By The Nation
Airbnb welcomed more than 160,000 guests from 135 countries to Chiang Mai in 2017, with an average growth of 71 per cent year-over-year.
Airbnb Experiences give travellers unprecedented insider access through selected activities arranged by local experts.
From being immersed in the Hmong community to learning about the traditional yantra tattoo, Airbnb uses technology as a platform to connect people and create cross-cultural interaction.
“Travellers are increasingly interested in exploring authentic experiences through the eyes of locals,” said Parin Mehta, director of Experiences Asia Pacific.
“This is not just about foreign travellers, either. Domestic travel is also on the rise, with 60 per cent growth in domestic guest arrivals from the past year. Locals are finding new ways to rediscover and enjoy the magic and hospitality of what their country has to offer.”
Globally, Airbnb offers 13,000 Experiences in 180 cities. In Thailand, Chiang Mai is the second-largest market for Experiences after Bangkok.
Airbnb has expanded its platform across the country, where individuals or professional tour guides can now request to list on the platform and connect with the global network of more than 300 million Airbnb travellers.
“As tourism in Thailand continues to grow rapidly, it is increasingly important to promote sustainable travel,” said Worapong Phukpoo, head of research at Thailand’s Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I).
“We are heartened that Airbnb is empowering entrepreneurs and strengthening communities by providing a global platform for them to share their passions and businesses.”