Crab fishing at Nai Nang Village in Krabi
In a first-of-its-kind collaboration in Thailand, Airbnb has announced an official partnership with the Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department (CDD) to empower tourism in Thailand by showcasing the country’s local communities to the world through its latest destination marketing campaign – Meet Thailand’s Villages, a Beyond Big Cities initiative.
This long-term strategic partnership follows successful destination marketing campaigns launched by Airbnb in Thailand under its global “Beyond Big Cities” initiative, promoting emerging destinations such as Buriram and Saraburi.
MoU signing with CDD and Airbnb
Leveraging Airbnb’s technology and global reach, the first phase of the Meet Thailand’s Villages campaign will showcase unique and authentic travel experiences from some of Thailand’s diverse local communities hosted through Airbnb Online Experiences, Airbnb’s fastest-growing product.
Online Experiences provide a way for local communities to earn income during this time of restricted travel while potentially reaching hundreds of millions of virtual travellers at home and around the world.
“Through the support of Airbnb and its global platform, local hospitality entrepreneurs under the OTOP Innovative Tourism Community Programme are provided a unique opportunity to showcase the best of their communities to the rest of the world,” said Suttipong Juljarern, Director General of the Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department. “We welcome this official collaboration with Airbnb as we continue empowering local communities all over Thailand and ensuring they reap the benefits of our country’s tourism industry.”
Samut Songkram fish market Weavers at Loei
To pilot this programme, Airbnb has collaborated with the CDD to onboard five local communities to host Airbnb Online Experiences. The Online Experiences hosted by Thailand’s local communities as part of this initiative, and which can be booked by guests anywhere around the world, are:
* Fun Fisherman Life, Ocean to Table (Baan Pak Map, Samut Songkram)
* Journey Through Village of Clay Artistry (Baan Muang Gung, Chiang Mai)
* Visit Northern Thai Silversmith Road (Wualai, Chiang Mai)
* Visit the Hidden Thai Village (Baan Na Pa Naad, Loei)
* Nai Nang, the Thai Village by the Ocean (Baan Nai Nang, Krabi)
These Online Experiences hosted by Thai local communities are the latest addition to over 700 Online Experiences available globally since its launch in April 2020.
Apart from promoting community tourism, the strategic partnership between Airbnb and CDD aims to play a crucial role in helping local communities navigate Thailand’s digital transformation journey.
Following the launch of the initiative, Airbnb and CDD will work together to select communities that will benefit from hosting Online Experiences, targeting to engage and onboard various communities from all regions in Thailand by the end of 2020.
Clay artistry at Chiang Mai Chiang Mai silversmith shop
The ongoing collaboration will include knowledge sharing and e-learning with a Thai language online resource centre to support potential hosts. Over the long term, Airbnb will also be training CDD provincial personnel and their team of marketers who have been recruited to help local community members to promote and sell their OTOP products online, with an objective to further empower communities to continue offering local and authentic tourism experiences for travellers globally.
According to a landmark report by Oxford Economics released recently, Airbnb contributed THB43.7 billion to Thailand’s GDP in 2019.