- Enhanced partnership empowers women hosts in Ladakh as micro-entrepreneurs
- 10 SEWA homes listed on Airbnb at time of launch, with more to come soon
New Delhi, August 26, 2021: Airbnb and the Self Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), an organization representing 1.5 million self-employed women living mostly in India’s rural areas, have announced the extension of their partnership to onboard SEWA members from Ladakh as hosts on the Airbnb platform. This partnership will expand livelihood opportunities for women in rural Ladakh and form part of broader efforts to rebuild tourism in a way that delivers positive outcomes for communities.
Through this extended partnership, Airbnb will train SEWA members on home sharing, hospitality, quality standards and responsible hosting practices under the ‘Hum Sab Ek’ (We are One) initiative, while fostering digital inclusion and enabling these women Hosts to connect with a global community of travelers.
Women make up a significant portion of Airbnb’s Host community in India. As of August 11 this year, new women Hosts in India with one listing have earned almost INR 30 million since the start of the pandemic and women make up almost 30 percent of our entire Indian Host community. Through home sharing, women hosts are able to significantly augment their earnings and some women entrepreneurs have embraced being home hosts full-time.
Ladakh is well-known as a pristine and unique hub for culture and ecotourism. SEWA hosts in Ladakh will offer a unique and immersive experience in the ancient village of Phayang in Leh Ladakh. These hosts will also be leading the way on energy efficiency and responsible resource use through accommodations with amenities such as newly installed solar lights.
This extended collaboration was announced at a seminar titled ‘Ladakh: New Start, New Goals’ organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Ms. Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said: “The Airbnb-SEWA partnership is an excellent example of how the benefits of tourism can better serve communities and help rebuild tourism across the country, especially in Ladakh. The region is a significant draw for domestic and international tourists, and these partnerships enable not only a wealth of tourism experiences, but economically empower communities with the help of platforms such as Airbnb.”
“We are proud to extend our partnership with SEWA in Ladakh and help empower local women Hosts on Airbnb to secure their financial independence and bring valuable tourism dollars into their communities. As part of our broader efforts to help rebuild tourism for the benefit of local communities, we aim to work together with these micro-entrepreneurs to promote sustainable and responsible travel and stays that contribute to resilient local economies and support jobs. Airbnb will continue to work closely with these women Hosts through training and best-practice sharing.” said Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager – Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“‘Hum Sab Ek’ is our rural innovation. We have worked together with Airbnb to create meaningful livelihood opportunities for our women members. Gandhiji’s Oceanic Circle perspective advocates helping each other rather than competing with each other. Together with Airbnb, our goal is to build a strong community of SEWA hosts who can learn from one another, constantly improve hosting standards, and together create a more welcoming environment for Indian women in hospitality.” said Reema Nanavaty, Director, SEWA.
Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, and has since grown to 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 900 million guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer one-of-a-kind stays and unique Experiences that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way.