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Airbnb celebrates one-year milestone of its partnership with SEWA to boost rural tourism in India

MediaInfoline December 15, 2017
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We’re thrilled to announce that one year since the launch of our ground-breaking partnership with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), the number of SEWA hosts sharing their homes on Airbnb has doubled.

The partnership with SEWA – an organization representing 2 million self-employed women living mostly in India’s rural areas – is empowering SEWA members to pursue new livelihoods by sharing their homes on Airbnb. As a result, the initiative is also helping to promote tourism in parts of India that have not traditionally benefited from tourism and hospitality.

Following a successful first year, the initiative will now expand beyond Gujarat to Northeast India, where we will work with SEWA to train members on home sharing, hospitality and quality standards, as well as responsible hosting practices.

Airbnb will continue to raise awareness of SEWA listings through targeted marketing and stories of SEWA hosts, and we will work with SEWA to identify opportunities to create visibility and drive demand for the SEWA homes through joint partnerships with governments, academic institutions, media partners and other civil society organizations.

“We call our partnership with Airbnb ‘Hum Sab Ek’, meaning ‘We are One’. It signifies and implies the true spirit of a global family that this partnership represents,” Reema Nanavaty, Director, Economic and Rural Development at SEWA said.

“The SEWA hosts take immense pride in sharing their traditional culture, rich heritage and the true spirit of rural Gujarat with visiting tourists from around the world. The partnership promotes an inherently sustainable, responsible and dignified model of tourism that familiarizes guests with our rural way of life, while helping to provide new livelihood opportunities. We are delighted to see more and more SEWA members coming forward to list their homes on Airbnb, from tribal areas and from other States.”

Valiben, a SEWA host who shares her home on Airbnb said “So far, I have had the opportunity to welcome multiple guests through Airbnb. We live by the mantra that ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, meaning ‘Guest is like our God’, and we take great pride in making sure the entire village provides our guests an incredible experience.”

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