Leading community-driven hospitality company Airbnb has announced signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA). 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 will 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. It will train SEWA members on home sharing, hospitality and amenity standards, and responsible hosting practices.
Airbnb will also help SEWA build a strong community of SEWA hosts who can learn from each other and constantly improve hosting standards. Together, both the companies will explore opportunities to create visibility and drive demand for the SEWA homes through joint partnerships with various State Governments, academic institutions, media partners and other civil society organizations.
“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 Director of Policy Partnerships Asia Pacific, Airbnb, Thao Nguyen. “Our mission is to democratize travel and through the partnership, we can help promote economic opportunities across diverse communities, help revitalize the rural economy and help prevent distress migration to urban areas, particularly among women and the youth,” added Thao Nguyen.
“The partnership along with our recent MoU with the Government of Gujarat, signals our commitment to work with local stakeholders to build a model of home sharing that contributes to the local community. By partnering with SEWA members to offer home-stays on Airbnb,” said Airbnb India Country Manager, Amanpreet Bajaj.