Airbnb teams up with the World Bank Group to support emerging market tourism

Airbnb helps unlock unique and authentic experiences, often off the beaten path, for travelers. Going beyond traditional hotel districts helps travelers eat, sleep, and live like a local. This appeal offers rural and underserved communities an opportunity to share in the benefits of growing interest in tourism. In an effort to build on the momentum from this trend, Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Bank Group today at the 2017 Tourism Knowledge Exchange.

Today, tourism accounts for 10 percent of global GDP, with the majority of this economic benefit concentrated in cities and other traditional tourist hubs. With this agreement, Airbnb and the World Bank Group hope to help change that. Together, we will help hosts in underserved communities share their homes with Airbnb’s community of international guests.

As part of this ongoing partnership, Airbnb and the World Bank Group will study the impact home sharing has on communities, and how increased tourism revitalizes local economies.“At Airbnb, we believe home sharing can help close the widening gap in economic opportunity between urban and rural areas,” said Clark Stevens, director, Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Airbnb. “We’ve already seen the important economic engine that home sharing has become for communities around the world, and we’re excited to partner with the World Bank Group to further study the development impacts of home sharing and pilot projects in emerging tourist destinations.”

“Travel and tourism is one of the largest service industries in the world and accommodation is at its core. The sharing economy has created opportunities across the sector and this partnership with Airbnb allows us to better understand those opportunities, prepare policy responses and examine ways to support developing countries as they enable their tourism sectors to boost GDP, create jobs and decrease poverty,” said Cecile Fruman, Director of the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice.

Starting in the Asia Pacific with Sri Lanka and India, Airbnb and the World Bank Group’s MOU will:

  • Identify potential hosts and provide training on home sharing and hospitality standards
  • Improve digital literacy skills to enable hosts to join the Airbnb community
  • Collaborate to promote rural listings to domestic and international visitors
  • Share data to measure the impact of home sharing on rural economies

Airbnb hosts keep 97 percent of what they charge for their listing. This MOU is yet another part of our work to create new economic opportunities for communities that have not traditionally benefited from tourism and hospitality.