The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has recently partnered with Airbnb to boost homestay and bed & breakfast (B&B) tourism in the state.
By doing so, the partnership aims to encourage travellers to visit lesser-known destinations. This will in turn enable an inclusive community-led tourism that will give rise to new economic opportunities.
Under the partnership agreement, MTDC and Airbnb will –
- Promote nearby travel-to destinations in Maharashtra that are off the beaten track
- Onboard three MTDC properties within the state that will offer travellers differentiated offerings. This includes farm stays
- Conduct webinars and workshops to train homestay hosts and B&B owners on Airbnb’s enhanced cleaning protocol. These are the first overarching standardised guidelines for cleaning and sanitisation in the home-sharing industry. This will help support hosts in advance of reopening communities for travel.
The partnership will also help support a sustainable tourism ecosystem. Along with training workshops for hosts and knowledge sharing, this agreement will create job opportunities. It also aims to sustain local communities and bring unique properties to the forefront.
Aaditya Thackeray, Minister for Tourism, Environment & Climate Change and Protocol, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Maharashtra is an ecologically and culturally rich state and offers travellers unique travel experiences. We are committed to improving community-driven hospitality that is sustainable and offers travelers accessible, affordable and quality tourism. Safety is also key. With Airbnb, we will strengthen the ecosystem for the growth of homestays and B&Bs in the state, to revive tourism growth in the coming months.”
Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager (India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) at Airbnb, said, “This partnership is a valuable opportunity to drive rapid demand growth towards domestic tourism and to support economic recovery. Rebuilding trust in travel is a long-term mindset and requires a collaborative effort between governments, tourism authorities, and private players.”
According to Airbnb’s search trends and data, destinations within the state such as Karjat, Igatpuri, Alibag and Panchgani remain some of the top spots that travellers prefer.