Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced its industry-first partnership with the Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association (TBAA) to promote creative, people-powered Thai hospitality.
Through the partnership, Airbnb and the TBAA will bring boutique hotels onto Airbnb’s global people-to-people platform and connect them to its international network of travelers, which has seen more than 300 million guest arrivals since it was founded, 10 years ago.
Airbnb is the first travel platform in Thailand to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the TBAA. This closely follows the company’s recent partnership with the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration to upskill and onboard local homestays across all 76 provinces.
With Thailand as one of the world’s top global destinations, this partnership will provide travellers with easy access to more than 50 boutique hotels across 15 provinces such as Bangkok, Chantaburi, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phuket, Prachuab Kiri Khan, Ratchaburi and Sukhothai, all providing authentic Thai hospitality. Both parties agreed to:
- Conduct training workshops for TBAA members to equip them with Airbnb platform know-how, and the digital skills to create, manage and promote their own listings
- Empower Thai boutique hospitality entrepreneurs with global hospitality standards
- Amplify Thailand’s unique boutique hotels and creative design on a global stage
- Revitalize local neighborhoods by driving tourist footfall outside of traditional tourist districts
During the launch, Airbnb and the TBAA also announced the inaugural Airbnb x TBAA Thailand Neighbourhood Guide. The 17-page insider’s guide spotlights five under-the-radar neighborhoods in Thailand, each with its distinct blend of traditional heritage and new creative spaces.
Orgill and Soorangura also led a panel discussion with top leaders in Thailand’s hospitality industry, titled “Baan Boutique: The Rise of Creative Hospitality in Thailand.” The panelists – including Tansorn Pornpanyapat, Assistant Director and Senior Urban Designer of the Urban Design and Development Center; Wirachai Pranveerapaibool, Chief Executive Officer of The Attitude Clubl and Arkanay Pawawattananusorn, Executive Vice President of Woraluk Property Public Company Limited (BEAT Hotel) – discussed areas of opportunities for local boutique hotels, noting that they play an increasingly key role in driving the local tourism ecosystem through authentic Thai hospitality, culture, and design.
In the past year alone, Airbnb’s host community in Thailand has welcomed close to 1.7 million guests into their homes, creating a combined THB 4 billion (USD 119 million) in income for local Thais. Earlier this September, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha highlighted Airbnb’s recent partnership with the Department of Local Administration during his weekly national broadcast. In his statement on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy to Sustainable Development Goals, he shared how Airbnb is promoting local homestays and distribute wealth across rural provinces.
“Thailand is one of Airbnb’s largest markets in Southeast Asia, and our partnership with the TBAA marks a significant step forward for our business and community here. Boutique hotels play an increasingly key role in driving the tourism ecosystem through their authentic host-led hospitality and distinctive local design. We are excited to work with the TBAA to bring boutique entrepreneurs onto our platform and connect them with a growing global audience who desire to experience iconic Thai hospitality in an intimate, design-centric setting. We look forward to continuing engagement with government and industry stakeholders to drive demand for local and sustainable travel in Thailand, through a wide variety of accommodation options from boutique hotels to homestays and treehouses.”
—Mike Orgill, Airbnb Country Manager for Southeast Asia
“The TBAA’s collaboration with Airbnb is an exciting opportunity for boutique hotel owners in Thailand, which will showcase their uniqueness and creativity to a global audience through the Airbnb platform. Neighborhoods are an equally important part of the visitor experience, and the local e-Guide recommendations from our very own members help provide unique insights into the hidden gems and culture of different Thai neighborhoods. These tips serve as a testament to the passion our hospitality entrepreneurs have for their boutique hotels and their local communities.”
—Suparerk Soorangura, President of Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association & Advisor to the Thai Travel Agents Association
“Boutique hotels are usually independent properties that are owner-run, and this enables owners to develop distinctively unique properties. Thailand has exceptional creative talent which shines through in the variety of outstanding boutique hotel concepts and designs across the country today. It is this creative edge that differentiates Thai boutique hotels and sets us apart from other accommodation offerings both on a local and global stage.”
—Wirachai Pranveerapaibool, Chief Executive Officer of The Attitude Club
“Airbnb has brought tourists from around the world into local Thai neighborhoods and communities and helped revitalize spaces that were once overlooked or under-utilized. The Airbnb-TBAA partnership will encourage the growth of local micro-entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, and further, elevate the standards of Thai boutique hospitality and creative design. As boutique hotels continue to grow, we are confident this will drive tourist footfall and expenditure outside heavily touristed areas and promote greater urban rejuvenation in local communities.
—Tansorn Pornpanyapat, Assistant Director and Senior Urban Designer of the Urban Design and Development Center