“New data released highlights how the Airbnb community is helping grow tourism in off-the-beaten-track destinations across Thailand and the Asia-Pacific, and helping spread the benefits of tourism beyond big cities and major tourism hotspots,” said the release.
“Similar to other countries in the Asia Pacific, the Airbnb community is growing rapidly in off-the-beaten track destinations in Thailand. This growth is powered by travellers increasingly seeking more local, unique and authentic experiences,” it added.
According to new data released from an Airbnb survey carried out last year, the number of Airbnb guest arrivals visiting off-the-beaten path destinations in Thailand grew by 53% year-on-year and some areas with the fastest growth included:
- Rawai - 92%
- Chiang Rai -90%
- Hat Yai - 214%
- Saladan - 71%
“By helping spread tourism across Thailand, Airbnb is bringing the economic benefits of tourism to local communities that haven’t shared in these benefits in the past. With up to 97% of the listing price going directly to Airbnb hospitality entrepreneurs, and almost 50% of guests’ spending occurring within the neighborhoods where they stay, the financial benefits of tourism can be significant for travel destinations,” noted the release. (See here.)
Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy Southeast Asia Mich Goh said the data reinforced how Airbnb was helping grow tourism right across Thailand.
“Just as important as growing tourism is making sure that the benefits of tourism are dispersed beyond big cities and major tourism destinations. This new data shows that Airbnb is not only growing local tourism - but spreading this growth all across Thailand. With Airbnb, more people and places share in the enormous benefits of tourism. More Airbnb guests going off the beaten track means more income and jobs in local communities,” Ms Goh said.
The data (see report here) also revealed more hospitality entrepreneurs in off-the-beaten-track destinations – home sharers, and small, independent, and boutique hotel owners – are turning to the Airbnb platform as a way to promote their unique listings to travellers from Thailand and the world. In 2018, some of the areas with the highest year-on-year growth in active listings in Thailand included:
- Nakhon Sawan - 167%
- Trang - 84%
- Hat Yai - 65%
- Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya - 66%
- Chumphon - 61%
“Airbnb also shared new data this week at Airbnb’s first ‘New Destinations Summit’ in Igualada (Barcelona, Spain), highlighting the Airbnb community model’s positive impact on communities in Europe with no – or few – hotels.
“Around half of municipalities in Catalonia, for example, have no hotels or other traditional accommodation options. But in almost 120 communities with no hotels in Catalonia, travel on Airbnb platform has helped boost the economy by €1.5 million,” the release added.
Of note, local authorities in Barcelona, which is heavily dependent on tourism, initially banned all Airbnb listing in the city outright as they were deemed illegal due to the properties being listed not being registered as accommodation venues.
City officials, however, later allowed the listings, but only after launching its #fairtourism campaign, under which tourists can check online in English whether or not a property was legally registered.
In July last year, Barcelona officials posted on the city’s official Twitter account, “We’ve closed down over 2,000 illegal tourist lets in Barcelona. Before you rent accommodation, check it’s legal at http://fairtourism.barcelona . #fairtourismBCN” (see post here.)
The Barcelona government’s fairtourism website states: “Unfortunately, for all its legal accommodation available, Barcelona also has a range of illegal accommodation that harms not just the people who rent it – depriving them of their right to complain about any incidents and denying them the supplementary services they are otherwise entitled to – but also the city itself, as it creates speculation and illicit economies and its activities leave nothing positive for local neighbors, causing nuisance and complaints.
“If you are visiting Barcelona, we need your commitment and cooperation to prevent the proliferation of this illicit economy in our city and the irresponsible, economically unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly tourism it encourages.” (See website here.)