Home-rental marketplace Airbnb has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) to create tech-enabled rural tourism and livelihood opportunities.
Through the partnership, Airbnb will work with SEWA members to help them share their homes with Airbnb’s community of international and domestic guests, creating economic opportunities for women in rural areas and promoting tourism spend in parts of India that have not traditionally benefited from tourism and hospitality.
As part of the partnership, Airbnb and SEWA plan to expand the network of Airbnb homes in rural areas through SEWA’s member network: The initiative will begin in Gujarat and eventually expand to other states that have a significant presence of SEWA members.
Besides, through the partnership, Airbnb will offer training for hosting standards. Airbnb and SEWA will train SEWA members on home sharing, hospitality and amenity standards, and responsible hosting practices. Airbnb will also help SEWA build a community of SEWA hosts who can learn from each other and improve hosting standards.
“The partnership is an important step in Airbnb’s commitment to enable economic empowerment for female entrepreneurs and promote digital inclusion in rural areas,” said Thao Nguyen, Airbnb’s director of policy partnerships, Asia Pacific, in a statement.
“By partnering with SEWA members to offer homestays on Airbnb, we hope to offer an authentic experience of rural India for travellers while ensuring that the benefits of tourism flow back to the rural community,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb India country manager.