Vacation rental company, Airbnb today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Tourism, Government of Goa, to jointly promote Goa as one of the most sought-after high potential tourism destinations in India and around the world. This partnership is aimed at encouraging travel to unique destinations that are lesser-known and enabling economically regenerative community-led tourism in the state, states a press release.
On the sidelines of the official launch of ‘Rediscover Goa’, a week-long celebration of Goa’s vast cultural diversity beyond its beaches and dazzling nightlife, Airbnb and Goa Tourism Department have joined hands to scale homestay capacity across the state, and provide support to Goan homestay hosts in delivering quality tourism experiences to guests, both domestic and international.
The announcement reflects the commitment of both parties to support the development of a sustainable tourism ecosystem in Goa, while highlighting current and upcoming tourism destinations in the state. By hosting knowledge sharing and training workshops for homestay hosts, the partnership will also enhance the potential of tourism to create jobs and sustainable livelihood opportunities for the local communities. There will be a spotlight on unique properties that enable more domestic and international travelers to explore Goa like never before and uncover some hidden gems.
KEY ELEMENTS OF THE ‘MoU’
The Department of Tourism, Government of Goa and Airbnb will work together to promote Goa as a destination for high-quality tourism, by upscaling the culture of homestays in the state, while spotlighting unique destinations for hinterland tourism and homestay tourism that travellers can discover. This will be done through targeted domestic and international destination promotion campaigns.
Airbnb will support the Department of Tourism’s vision by conducting workshops and seminars to train homestay hosts and B&B owners on the importance of responsible tourism, build host capacity, seek to amplify and create awareness on the local laws and encourage host registration; while continuing to work towards onboarding more hosts and properties on the platform. These efforts will be aimed at equipping current and prospective Hosts with knowledge and guidance to boost inclusive and community-led travel in the state.
Airbnb will also endeavour to share global best practices, periodic travel trends and insights related to home stays, from time to time, to help the DoT make informed decisions on capacity building needs, and other progressive policies that will help drive responsible tourism in the state.
The signing of the MoU took place in the presence of Rohan Khaunte, Minister for Tourism, Government of Goa, and Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
On the signing of the MoU, Rohan Khaunte, Minister for Tourism, Government of Goa, said: “Identifying underserved areas and prioritising sustainable development efforts are constant mindful decisions made by the Government of Goa & the Department of Tourism in relation to planning and allocating resources to further accelerate tourism recovery. Our primary focus, with this partnership, is the hinterland – bringing financial opportunities and empowerment to the women residing in the rural regions of Goa. This MoU with Airbnb is a step towards achieving our aim of creating a more inclusive tourism ecosystem in Goa, that empowers local communities by driving micro-entrepreneurship and focuses on bringing quality tourism experiences to guests from all over the world.”
Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager – India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan at Airbnb, said, “Goa is a priority market for us, and this partnership furthers Airbnb’s efforts to provide guests with quality tourism experiences not just in popular tourist destinations but also off the beaten track. We want to ensure the economic benefits of tourism reach as many communities as possible, while we continue to invest in our local Host communities. To further our efforts, we are proud to partner with the Goa Tourism Department and support their vision of making Goa one of the most sought after tourism destinations for travellers, both domestic and international. We have witnessed commendable efforts put in by the Government of Goa towards this cause and are fully committed to working closely with them to drive responsible tourism in the State, through awareness campaigns, knowledge sharing sessions and capacity building programs.”