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Airbnb launches initiative to boost domestic travel to nearby destinations


Online accommodation platform Airbnb on Thursday said it has launched an initiative to support economic growth through domestic tourism, as local travel has begun to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In India, 51 percent of the company’s business comprises domestic bookings. In addition, search trends and wish-lists by its users in India indicate that long lockdown has only piqued interest in travel, once the lockdown is eased, Airbnb said in a statement.

airbnb


Key domestic markets for Airbnb are Goa, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Mumbai and Bengaluru but the company is also seeing a surge in searches for stay options in nearby cities especially near metro cities for places like Alibag, Lonavala, Panchgani near Mumbai, it added.

“As states in India open up, driving holidays, experiential travel, rural and farm stays and generally conscious travel choices, are some of the biggest trends emerging from India,” Airbnb said.

The initiative, called ‘Go Near’, aims to tap the wish of the people to travel to nearby destinations.

“For India, the launch of ‘Go Near’ is a reflection of people’s desire to travel closer home to some really amazing domestic destinations that India has to offer – the trends show us that people are eager to travel once again with new considerations of safety,” Airbnb India Country Manager Amanpreet Bajaj said.

Airbnb will continue to follow guidance from local officials and encourage safe, responsible travel and work to ensure guests have great experiences, he added.

In another initiative, hospitality unicorn OYO had begun welcoming guests across multiple states from June 8, 2020 onwards with the Centre’s decision to open hotels in a phased manner, under Unlock 1.0.

Leading by example, OYO’s senior leadership including Rohit Kapoor, CEO, India & South Asia, Ankit Gupta, COO, Frontier Business, Sunny Sodhi, SVP & Head Sales, India & South Asia, Abhishek Thard, Region Head – West II checked-in to various OYO Hotels in Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar among others to experience ‘Sanitised Stays’ with minimal touch.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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