The economic impact of online accommodation platform Airbnb in India last year stood at $320 million (around Rs 2,200 crore), a report said on Tuesday.
The contribution by Airbnb made to the Indian economy was driven by guest spending during their stay, hosts investment in their properties, among others, the report said.
“The economic activity supported by Airbnb’s presence in India sustained 49,900 jobs in 2019. The sector with the most jobs supported by Airbnb was the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector,” the report said.
India’s tourism economy is one of the largest in Asia-Pacific(APAC) in terms of spending, with its growth having accelerated significantly in the years preceding the coronavirus pandemic, it added.
“Around 83 per cent of Airbnb guests staying in the more than 55,000 Airbnb listings in India in 2019 were domestic visitors, seeking options for overnight stays in Indian destinations,” the report said.
Inbound Airbnb guests from the United States represented 35 per cent of all foreign Airbnb guests in 2019. Guests from the United Kingdom represented the next largest segment, making up 12 per cent of the total, it added.
In 2019, Airbnb guests spent $249 million (around Rs 1,800 crore) in India.
A significant majority of Airbnb guests’ spending in India was spent on goods and services other than their accommodation, the report ‘The economicimpact of Airbnb in India’ by Oxford Economics said.
Commenting on the report,FICCI Travel Technology Committeeco-chairman Ashish Kumarsaid, “Travel and tourism is not only one of India’s highest foreign exchange earners, but also one of the largest employment generators in the country.”
In a similar vein, Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and TaiwanGMAmanpreet Bajaj saidthe recovery of tourism and the recovery of the Indian economy are inextricably linked.
Speaking on the report, Bajaj told PTI, “Though the numbers in the report are pre-Covid. From a relevance perspective it kind of shows that how important tourism and economic recovery could be linked specially in the post-Covid era as well.”
The key for me is that as a result of the economic impact of Airbnb, the local communities and economies have benefited a lot. Second key thing is that the impact is spread all over India, he added.
The report shows how the authentic, affordable, and sustainable travel experiences offered by Airbnb can help accelerate recovery and create value for local microentrepreneurs, businesses and local communities, Bajaj said.
“Looking forward, we want to continue to work closely with local governments to grow high-quality, sustainable tourism, support microentrepreneurship and help communities recover as quickly as possible,” he added.
There green shoots of recovery are already visible in India and as is happening globally. In India too, domestic tourism is going to get a big boost and travel is going to become local and regional and cleanliness and hygiene will be very important for the guests, Bajaj said.