Despite the pandemic, the Philippines rose to be one of the top countries in Asia-Pacific in terms of welcoming the most number of new Airbnb hosts in 2020.
Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb general manager for India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, told Business Bulletin in an email interview of the encouraging performance of Airbnb in the Philippines adding they are looking forward to driving growth in the country safely.
“Despite the pandemic, the Philippines rose to be one of the top countries in Asia-Pacific in terms of welcoming the most number of new hosts with at least one listing in 2020,” said Bajaj.
This 2021, he said, Airbnb is dedicated to being a strategic partner to the Philippine government and helping spur local economic recovery. “We aim to drive safe, meaningful, and differentiated travel and help build local resilience through hosting by spreading tourism income to small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Bajaj.
He cited a research by Oxford Economics that Airbnb commissioned, there were 39,000 listings on Airbnb in the Philippines in 2019 spread across the Philippines including major cities in NCR, Luzon, and Cebu.
The same data showed that Airbnb contributed to approximately $1 billion in economic impact (comprising guest spending, property investments by hosts, supply chain growth, and earnings and wage spending that support the wider economy), and supported 161,300 jobs directly and indirectly in the Philippines that year.
The Philippines is one of Airbnb’s fastest-growing countries in APAC, but like other countries across the region, travel in the Philippines was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Bajaj said they are confident that travel is resilient and will return. “We believe that everyone in the hospitality industry is united in one cause: getting the tourism sector back on track while ensuring the safety and well-being of Filipino travelers,” he said.
According to Bajaj, its recent consumer polling suggests that Filipinos are yearning to reconnect through travel when restrictions are eased. Filipinos also seek safe and affordable accommodations.
“We are working to drive sustainable long-term growth for our Stays and Experiences in the Philippines, in order to support more Filipinos who want to host, as well as Filipinos who want to travel meaningfully with their families. We believe that travel is coming back and we are laser-focused on helping the Philippines prepare for the travel rebound so local economies can benefit,” he said.
Airbnb Stays provides guests with a place to “stay” for every trip. Whether they are looking for a treehouse for the weekend or an entire home for the whole family, there’s an Airbnb Stay that will fit their liking. Our Stays are hosted by locals, real people who can give guests all the details they need to check-in and feel at home. Our Hosts are our greatest strengths and they make us unique. Today, we have over 4 million wonderful Hosts on the platform who have welcomed over 800 million guests arrivals. Who and what we are today is because of our Host community across the globe.
Airbnb Experiences, on the other hand, are unique, one-of-a-kind activities designed and hosted by locals as well that go beyond typical tours or workshops. They provide deep insights and immersion into the Hosts’ passions and interests, that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way. Airbnb also intends to work closely with key policymakers and industry stakeholders on a sustainable way forward for Airbnb listings to be accredited, in line with the government’s regulations for leisure travel.