Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, and the Government Savings Bank, Thailand’s state-owned bank, on Friday announced a partnership to help promote Thai hospitality entrepreneurs, starting with local homestay owners.
A press release on Friday said that through the partnership, GSB will help ensure better funding for hospitality entrepreneurs by providing flexible-interest rate loans and instalment plans.
Airbnb will work with GSB to help build capacity through hospitality and hosting training while connecting homestay owners to its worldwide platform and marketplace network of over 500 million guests.
Dr. Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, GSB President and CEO, and Mike Orgill, Airbnb General Manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, jointly launched the partnership on Friday.
As part of the launch pilot, Airbnb and GSB trained GSB officials and 29 local homestay groups, including the participants of GSB’s ‘Smart Homestay 2018 Competition’, which recognised outstanding homestays in different provinces across Thailand.
The partnership will support local sustainable tourism while diversifying income distribution to communities across Thailand, in alignment with the Thai Government's initiative to drive local economic growth in secondary cities through tourism. Specifically, both GSB and Airbnb pledged to expand business opportunities for Thai hospitality micro-entrepreneurs to help generate income for local communities.
GSB will provide a special loan package - providing grassroots customers with smaller, flexible loans - to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs who meet the Bank's requirements. Airbnb will conduct a series of train-the-trainer model capacity building sessions to equip GSB officials with the skills to navigate and utilise Airbnb’s global platform efficiently, and cascade this knowledge to homestay owners under GSB’s programmes.
On Friday, participants took part in a series of sharing sessions about Thai tourism and its opportunities, as well as an Airbnb host onboarding and activation workshop for homestay owners. The high-speed fiber optic Internet for the workshop was provided by state-owned telecommunications company TOT Public Company Limited.
Airbnb Superhost, Nitaya Laisuwan, who hosts in a homestay in Bangkok, also shared her personal story and best practices. The passionate host and mother of two is a full-time English teacher who welcomes guests in her 4th generation traditional Thai wooden home, located by Bangkok’s Chao Praya river.