Global tourism is growing rapidly
Global tourism is growing rapidly. The UN World Tourism Organization reports that international tourist arrivals increased by 6% in 2018, to 1.4 billion arrivals worldwide. The same report shows that much of this growth has been driven by rising demand for travel destinations in emerging markets, with India and China leading the way.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel to emerging economies is expected to increase at twice the rate of travel to advanced economies from now until 2030. By then, more than one billion travellers will arrive in emerging economies annually.
In fact, the world’s fastest-growing tourism destinations are almost entirely located in emerging markets. Airbnb’s growth paints a similar picture — emerging markets make up the majority of our 25 fastest-growing countries.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing this growth firsthand. I first came to India in May 2016 to officially launch our local business. At that point, our community had organically grown to approximately 18,000 listings throughout the country. It was clear from my stay with a local host in Hauz Khas village that India was the perfect country to experience the kind of unique and authentic experiences that Airbnb hosts offer.
Since then, our community of hosts has gone from strength to strength and the number of Airbnb listings in India has increased by more than 150%.
Our hosts have welcomed more than 1.3 million travellers during that period, over 60% of which occurred in just the past 12 months. And this growth isn’t just limited to foreign travellers, but increasingly domestic guests. In the last year only, guest arrivals on Airbnb in India increased by 78%, driven by the 410 million Indian millennials who want a unique and local experience when exploring new parts of this amazing country they call home.
Emerging markets are also growing as a source of outbound travellers from around the world: in 2015, 49% of global tourism spending came from travellers from developing countries, up from just 25% a decade earlier. Our community in India is no different, with more than a million Indians using Airbnb to travel in the past 12 months alone.
But as travel and tourism in India grows — and globally its growing faster than the rest of the economy — it is critical that as many people as possible benefit and it is done in a way that is local, authentic and sustainable.
Since I was last in India, we’ve launched a variety of partnerships that are helping expand our community of hosts in a way that encourages a healthier, more sustainable tourism, while offering a wider range of options to travellers who want locally-influenced and unique accommodations, from traditional homestays in rural Gujarat, to palatial villas in Goa.
We’re also helping to disperse travel to communities that don’t typically benefit. In 2016, we partnered with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), which represents 2 million women living primarily in India’s rural areas, to empower their members to pursue new livelihoods through home sharing. Some of our SEWA hosts now earn more in a month through hosting than their family’s typical annual income.
And I’m also pleased to announce our new partnership with the Digital Empowerment Foundation of India, where we will support digital skills training for more than 15,000 potential women host entrepreneurs across the country.
In 2017, my co-founder Brian Chesky committed to training 50,000 hospitality entrepreneurs across India and helping to ensure the transformative benefits of travel go to as many locals as possible. We’re well on our way to achieving that goal and we can’t wait to help our community continue to play a huge part in India’s tourism economy boom.
source: Travel Wire News