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Mon, 20 May 2019

Thailandís Government Savings Bank and Airbnb to Promote Homestays

Thailandís Government Savings Bank (GSB) is looking to help promote and empower Thai hospitality entrepreneurs, starting with local homestay owners, through a new partnership with Airbnb.

As part of the agreement, GSB plans to help ensure better funding for hospitality entrepreneurs by providing flexible-interest rate loans and installment 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.

View from the window of a homestay in Sisaket, Thailand. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Mike Orgill, General Manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Airbnb, said, ďCommunity tourism is a powerful tool and the new driving force behind Thailandís tourism industry. Travellers from around the world are seeking off-the-beaten-path travel experiences when they visit Thailand, and hospitality entrepreneurship is flourishing as the demand for local, authentic and unique tourism continues to grow. Homestays are growing rapidly on our Airbnb platform today. Our host and guest communities are also expanding rapidly beyond major tourism hotspots into upcoming cities like Nakhon Sawan and Chiang Rai. In GSB, we have found an ideal partner who shares our vision to digitally connect local hospitality entrepreneurs and spread the benefits of responsible and sustainable tourism across Thailand.Ē

Dr. Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, President and CEO, GSB, added, "Local homestays are increasingly integral to the development of our tourism industry and community. This helps to create both economic and social value, as Thais share their local wisdom, culture and traditions with visitors from around the world. Our joint partnership today will support sustainable and creative tourism through a new ecosystem that facilitates access to funding and hospitality training, allowing them to grow sustainably. We hope that everyone will share their knowledge with homestay owners in other cities to help generate income for local communities. Coupled with Airbnbís global platform, we are confident that our homestay owners will be equipped to provide the best hospitality experience with the world.Ē

Homestays in Thailand

While there are official definitions of what constitutes a homestay in Thailand, in reality this means very little.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of homestays all over the Kingdom, but they range from a single room in someone's house - perhaps the true definition of homestay, to an entire house or condo, or even a bungalow within a development which many people would regard more as a resort than a homestay.

Some homestays have western style toilets and showers, others do not. Some give the guest direct access to the outside, others do not. There are also questions of cleanliness, security - for the guest and the homeowner, hygiene and more.

And that's not all. There are plenty of very reasonably priced, good quality hotels in many rural areas of Thailand with rates similar, if not cheaper than homestays.

What all this means is that while the homestay market is growing in supply, there remains many questions on how to best manage and promote it.

See more: Pictures from Sisaket (ศรีสะเกษ) Province, Thailand.

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