The world’s largest home-sharing website Airbnb has announced a partnership with a rural women’s Association in India. Airbnb has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) to work with SEWA members to enable them to share their homes with Airbnb’s community of international and domestic guests. According to the FInan cial Experess, the move is aimed at “creating economic opportunities for women in rural areas and promoting tourism spend in parts of India that have not traditionally benefited from tourism and hospitality.”
The initiative will begin in the northern state of Gujarat with plans to roll out across the country. AIrbnb will provide training for SEWA members on home sharing, hospitality and amenity standards, and responsible hosting practices. “The partnership is an important step in Airbnb’s commitment to enable economic empowerment for female entrepreneurs and promote digital inclusion in rural areas,” said Director of Policy Partnerships Asia Pacific, Airbnb, Thao Nguyen. “Our mission is to democratize travel and through the partnership, we can help promote economic opportunities across diverse communities, help revitalize the rural economy and help prevent distress migration to urban areas, particularly among women and the youth.”
“Through the partnership, we will help our members become powerful micro-entrepreneurs, best placed to promote sustainable and responsible tourism in India,” SEWA director Reena Nanavaty told Outlook India.