Airbnb to in­vest $2M for tourism projects in Asia

Business World - - CORPORATE NEWS - Arra B. Fran­cia

ON­LINE hos­pi­tal­ity ser­vices provider Airbnb is in­vest­ing $2 mil­lion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion un­til 2020 to pro­mote tourism projects.

Airbnb Coun­try Man­ager for South­east Asia, Hong Kong and Tai­wan Robin Kwok said mem­ber coun­tries of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions ( ASEAN) will ben­e­fit from this in­vest­ment as well.

“It’s ded­i­cated to ASEAN (As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions), and just from be­ing here in the Philip­pines mul­ti­ple times I can al­ready see huge op­por­tu­nity for in­no­va­tion, new ideas, and for SMEs (small to medium en­ter­prises) and start-ups to par­tic­i­pate. I look for­ward to Philip­pine com­mu­ni­ties to take ad­van­tage of this fund and to get in­volved,” Ms. Kwok told re­porters on the side­lines of the ASEAN Business and In­vest­ment Sum­mit in Parañaque yes­ter­day.

Airbnb is an on­line mar­ket­place where home­own­ers can lease or rent out their apart­ments and houses on a short-term ba­sis. At present, Ms. Kwok said the Philip­pines has a to­tal of 32,000 homes un­der its net­work.

“We’ve seen about 32,000 homes here in the Philip­pines, ev­ery­where from Makati, to Cebu to Palawan to Bo­ra­cay. Peo­ple want to host, share their space, gen­er­ate that sup­ple­men­tal in­come and we’re also see­ing more and more peo­ple search for the Philip­pines be­cause they want to travel here,” Ms. Kwok said.

This comes amid a 12.7% in­crease of for­eign tourist ar­rivals in the Philip­pines from the Jan­uary to June 2017 pe­riod to 3.36 mil­lion.

“And we be­lieve we can be a huge sup­porter for the ob­jec­tive for ASEAN which is to have 800 mil­lion in­bound international tourists by 2025,” Ms. Kwok said.

Ms. Kwok noted the Philip­pines re­flects the global trend of Airbnb’s hosts, where 75% are lo­cated in ar­eas out­side the coun­try’s cap­i­tal and business dis­tricts.

“That means that lo­cal mo­mand­pop shops, SMEs, they’re now see­ing ben­e­fits, be­cause peo­ple are spend­ing more time and money in those neigh­bor­hoods. And that’s great news for those in the lo­cal ar­eas as well,” Ms. Kwok said. —

THERE ARE around 32,000 homes in the Philip­pines listed on Airbnb.

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