Thai boutique hotels get in bed with Airbnb

Airbnb's Mike Orgill and TBAA's Suparerk Soorangura signing the MoU

Airbnb is partnering the Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association (TBAA) to bring local boutique hotels onto its platform, on the heels of a partnership to upskill and onboard local homestays.

The new deal will provide travellers with access to more than 50 boutique hotels across 15 provinces such as Bangkok, Chantaburi, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phuket, Prachuab Kiri Khan, Ratchaburi and Sukhothai.

Airbnb’s Mike Orgill (left) and TBAA’s Suparerk Soorangura signing the MoU

As part of the agreement, training workshops will be conducted to equip TBAA members with Airbnb platform know-how, and the digital skills to create, manage and promote their own listings.

The partners also hope to empower Thai boutique hospitality entrepreneurs with global hospitality standards, amplify the creative design of Thai boutique hotels on the global stage as well as revitalise local neighbourhoods by driving tourist footfall outside of traditional tourist districts.

During the launch, Airbnb and the TBAA also announced the inaugural Airbnb x TBAA Thailand Neighbourhood Guide. The 17-page guide spotlights five under-the-radar neighbourhoods in Thailand, each with its distinct blend of traditional heritage and new creative spaces.

In the past year alone, Airbnb’s host community in Thailand welcomed close to 1.7 million guests into their homes, creating a combined four billion baht (US$119 million) in income for local Thais.

“Thailand is one of Airbnb’s largest markets in South-east Asia, and our partnership with the TBAA marks a significant step forward for our business and community here. Boutique hotels play an increasingly key role in driving the tourism ecosystem through their authentic host-led hospitality and distinctive local design,” said Mike Orgill, Airbnb country manager for South-east Asia.

Tansorn Pornpanyapat, assistant director and senior urban designer of the Urban Design and Development Center, is hopeful the Airbnb-TBAA partnership will encourage the growth of local micro-entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, and further elevate the standards of Thai boutique hospitality and creative design.

“As boutique hotels continue to grow, we are confident this will drive tourist footfall and expenditure outside heavily touristed areas and promote greater urban rejuvenation in local communities,” he said.

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