Airbnb has welcomed new Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan’s commitment to grow tourism and support short-term accommodation in Thailand.
Speaking to local media on his first day in office, Minister Ratchakitprakan identified short-term accommodation reform and growing tourism in secondary cities as a priority area for the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
“We look forward to working closely with the new Government and Minister Ratchakitprakan on growing and diversifying Thailand’s tourism industry,” Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia Mich Goh said.
“We particularly welcome the Minister’s commitment to prioritising short-term accommodation reform in Thailand. It is recognition that more travellers from Thailand and abroad are choosing to stay in short-term accommodation such as Airbnb listings, and that the rules need to keep pace.
“While the Airbnb community in Thailand already makes a significant contribution to the tourism industry and economy, we believe that contribution could be even greater.
“Clear and innovative rules for short-term accommodation would create more opportunities for Thai hospitality entrepreneurs and help generate more income for local communities, especially those in secondary provinces. Airbnb stands ready to work with the Government in the coming months on developing clear, innovative rules for short-term accommodation in Thailand.”
Airbnb has already partnered with the Thailand Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration to train local provincial officials on hospitality, hosting and compliance standards. Airbnb has also partnered with the Government Savings Bank, Thailand’s state-owned bank, to help promote and empower Thai hospitality entrepreneurs through flexible-interest rate loans and training programs.
According to data released in June this year, Airbnb’s host and guest community generated over THB33.8 billion in estimated direct economic impact in Thailand in 2018. The data also found that 80 percent of local Airbnb hosts say they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests, and on average Airbnb guests in Thailand say 46 percent of their spending occurs in the neighbourhood where they stay.