Online accommodation platform major Airbnb Friday said India is one of the fastest-growing emerging markets for the company as it unveiled its ‘Plus Homes’ range in India. The company, which commenced operations in India in 2016, currently has 45,000 listings on its platform. “Fastest-growing markets for Airbnb are emerging markets and India is one of them. India is one of the fastest-growing emerging markets for the company,” Airbnb co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Blecharczyk told PTI.
India is an important business opportunity for Aibnb as it has a huge population and a huge number of millennials, young people, he added. The company has also introduced its new range of ‘Plus Homes’ in India. Currently, these are available in over 41 cities across the globe. All of them are verified for quality, comfort and design, Blecharczyk said. “We would be inviting about 4,500 super hosts to participate in the process of joining the new range,” he added.
Emphasising the growth potential for the company in India, Blecharczyk said tourism in the emerging markets is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world which is a promising opportunity for Airbnb in India. About the segments of the business growth, he said: “Domestic market is growing very fast, at over 78 per cent over the last year for Airbnb in India. So, that is the fastest-growing segment for us.”
The company expects the domestic market to continue to grow well and it expects many more years to maintain this growth rate, he added. “Business travel is another focus area for the Airbnb in India. Currently, we have about 6,500 companies in India who have signed with Airbnb for business travel. So, there is a lot of traction here,” Blecharczyk said. India is well on its way to becoming one of the new ‘centres of influence’ in global tourism.
With more than one million Indians having travelled with Airbnb globally in 2018 and a whopping 115 per cent increase in Indian listings over the past year, it is no surprise that India is a key market for the company, Airbnb said in a statement. Set to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2030, India will inevitably play a crucial role in bringing Airbnb’s mission — to have 1 billion belonging to the platform in the next decade — to fruition, it added. Founded in 2008, Airbnb accommodation marketplace offers access to around 5 million homes in more than 191 countries, from apartments and villas to castles, treehouses and B&Bs.