Airbnb banks on India, looks to grow at a faster clip


Home-share booking site Airbnb is confident of manifold growth in its business in India over the next few years, driven by a surge in volume of travellers using its platform and increase in number of listed properties.

“India has seen tremendous growth in the last one year. About 17,000 properties are now listed in India and we saw 115 per cent growth in listing in 2015 from the previous year. In terms of travellers (bookings), there has been 185 per cent increase in travellers from India and 184 per cent increase in bookings in India (in-bound) from last year,” Airbnb co-founder and CTO Nathan Blecharczyk told .

With half a million Indians having used Airbnb already (since its inception), India is one of the fastest-growing markets for the company, he added.

In the Asia-Pacific, Airbnb saw a staggering 370 per cent jump in bookings.

“The focus now is to understand the local dynamics better. We are in talks with different government agencies to ensure we comply with the local laws and can provide a wonderful user experience to our users,” Airbnb India Country Manager Amanpreet Bajaj said.

The Indian travel market is set to pass the USD 40 billion dollar mark by 2020, according to industry reports.

“This is a new concept and countries all over the world are embracing home-sharing. India will be an important part of the growth story for us,” Blecharczyk said.

The company views the business traveller segment as an important category.

“Already 10 per cent of our global users are business travelers and we have about 30,000 listings dedicated to this segment. These have facilities like 24/7 check-in, high speed Internet and the like,” Blecharczyk said.

In India too, Airbnb is looking to focus on growing the category.

Companies like Google and Morgan Stanley, Blecharczyk said, are already using its platform for its travelling employees and it is in talks with various organisations in India as well.

The US-based firm, which is among the few global startups in recent times to hit the USD 1 billion valuation, has already hosted over 80 million guests and has 2 million properties listed in 191 countries since its inception in 2008.

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