Earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans to eradicate poverty in China by 2020, having already announced the reduction of the number of people living in poverty by approximately 15 million in 2016.
China is one of the most visited countries in the world, and the Chinese government has identified tourism as an important means for poverty reduction. However, most of China’s most poverty-stricken regions are in remote, rural areas which don’t typically benefit from tourism and hospitality.
At Airbnb, we believe home sharing and the sharing economy can help rural areas create new economic opportunities for local communities.
Today, as we approach the annual International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we have launched the Airbnb-Guilin Rural Community Tourism Project – an initiative aiming to promote rural tourism in Guilin and empower locals to pursue new economic opportunities through home sharing.
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is home to over 35 million people and while the famous tourism city Guilin is known around the world for its natural beauty and unique culture, many of the region’s towns, villages and communities remain unknown to travelers.
Through the partnership, established with the Guilin Tourism Development Committee, Airbnb will train local families in Jinjiang village on home sharing, hospitality standards and digital literacy.
Importantly, we will also work with local academics to study the economic impacts of home sharing and the benefits of inclusive, community-driven tourism, before extending the initiative to other communities throughout China.
“We’re excited to make this announcement and play our part in boosting rural economies in China,” said An Li, Vice President at Airbnb China. “China is fully embracing the sharing economy, and we believe that through technology, home sharing can provide economic opportunities to atypical tourist destinations, and also help to introduce unique local experiences to travelers from around the world.”
The partnership is the latest in a series of Airbnb agreements across the Asia-Pacific region to promote rural tourism, including in India, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.