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Airbnb signs MoU with UTDB to promote untapped destinations

Airbnb has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB), to build host capacity in untapped destinations, thereby redirecting travellers from the state’s traditionally popular spots to lesser-explored gems.

This collaboration reflects a shared commitment to preserving the state’s cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unique traditions, while promoting responsible and conscious travel practices in the state, which further uplifts the local communities while delivering enriching experiences for the travelers.

Key elements of the MoU include:
● Capacity Building – Airbnb will undertake capacity building activities in the select pilot locations to enhance local hospitality standards, hosting best practices, and responsible hosting. Workshops will be organized for a select group of ‘model hosts,’ who will then impart their knowledge and expertise to other members of their community.
● Onboarding homestays – The partnership will focus on onboarding homestays onto the Airbnb platform. Airbnb will conduct workshops in the identified pilot destinations to train ‘model hosts’ on setting up their profiles, optimizing listing content, and capturing attractive photographs to attract travelers.
● Creating a robust homestay ecosystem – Airbnb will conduct a thorough review of homestay-specific gaps in the identified pilot destinations and share its assessment with UTDB. This valuable input will help UTDB formulate a targeted support strategy for homestays, thus fostering inclusive growth within the region.
● Training & seamless integration – Airbnb will work with the identified district tourism officers appointed as points of contact (PoCs) for seamless coordination, offering venue support for workshops and events, a list of registered homestays in pilot locations, shortlist and mobilize ‘model hosts’.

On the signing of the MoU, Sachin Kurve, Secretary, Tourism, and CEO, UTDB, Government of Uttarakhand, said, “Uttarakhand is known for its warm hospitality and its rich tapestry of pristine trekking trails, diverse wildlife, serene hill stations, pilgrimage sites, and more. This partnership with Airbnb will further expand our efforts to promote homestay culture in our state. Individuals in the tourism sector will receive training on responsible hosting which will unlock their potential to attract guests from India and abroad. Through this partnership, we’re confident the travelers will be presented with enriching, immersive experiences that allow them to witness Uttarakhand’s beauty up close. ”

Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager – India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan at Airbnb, said, “We are proud to partner with the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB). With this partnership, we aim to empower microentrepreneurs in the region by offering them training on hospitality standards, sharing hosting best practices and encouraging responsible hosting initiatives. Airbnb has consistently placed Hosts and their empowerment at its core, and we are looking forward to working with the government to onboard homestays in the state on our platform.

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