Airbnb has launched Go Near, an initiative to support economic growth through domestic travel in India. For this, the brand will engage with several local communities.

The company reveals that Airbnb had an estimated direct economic impact of around US$150 million (over ₹1,035 crore), with Indian hosts earning over ₹190 crore in 2018.

Amanpreet Bajaj, country manager, Airbnb India says, “In India, 51 per cent of Airbnb’s business comprises domestic bookings.

“In addition, search trends and wish lists by Airbnb users in the country  indicate that long lockdowns have only piqued interest in and aspirations to travel, once the lockdown is eased.”

Airbnb’s key domestic markets include Goa, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Mumbai and Bengaluru, however, the company said it is also witnessing a surge in searches for stay options in nearby cities especially near metros like Alibag, Lonavala, Panchgani near Mumbai.

The home-sharing platform has signed partnerships with Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Princess Diya Kumari Foundation and Nagaland Tourism to promote community-based tourism.

Bajaj says, “What we have found is that as people travel again, conscious choices and preference for sustainable travel will lead to recovery, benefiting communities, and encouraging safe travel.”

According to the company, driving holidays, experiential travel, rural and farm stays and conscious travel are some of the biggest trends emerging from India.

Airbnb will function taking into account the guidelines from local officials and encourage safe, responsible travel and work to ensure guests have great experiences.

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