Airbnb and Thailand’s state-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) have partnered to promote and empower Thai hospitality entrepreneurs, starting with local homestay owners.
The global leader in short-term rentals last year joined forces with the Thai government to onboard local homestay providers.
Through the new 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 network of over 500 million guests.
Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, GSB president and CEO, and Mike Orgill, Airbnb general manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, jointly launched the partnership last week.
As part of the launch pilot last week, the partners committed to training 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.
The partnership will support local sustainable tourism while diversifying income distribution to communities across Thailand, in line with the Thai government’s initiative to drive local economic growth in secondary cities through tourism.
Specifically, 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.
At the launch, participants also 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.