Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is strengthening its ties with Airbnb and aims to launch the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme in the state to boost the tourism prospects.
The programme aims to drive economic growth in local Maharashtra communities by helping micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality sector grow their business through four key pillars of support- Training, Enabling, Access and Promotion.
The programme would be launched first in Elephanta village where MTDC and Airbnb will associate with Gram Panchayat and identify 35 homes and get aligned with Airbnb standards. Hosts of these homes would be the first set of entrepreneurs benefitting from this programme.
Commenting on the occasion, Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra said, “Tourism is not only a source of revenue for the state, but is also key source of growth for local communities. In Airbnb, we have found a global partner whose vision to create skilled micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality and homestay ecosystem to further expand Maharashtra’s tourism potential. We are pleased to expand our partnership with Airbnb with the launch of the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme, which will help mentor and support budding entrepreneurs in hospitality sector and build a strong homestay network across key destinations. This is the first-of-its-kind tourism initiative in India where the Government has used the revenue shared by a partner to create a program to benefit various underprivileged communities in the State. With new innovative initiatives like this one, together with Airbnb, we aim to attract a larger global audience and exponentially boost tourism in Maharashtra.”
VK Gautam, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra said, “Through the Accelerator Programme, Maharashtra Tourism and Airbnb aim to create a homestay ecosystem in Elephanta and create at least one hospitality micro-entrepreneur in every village across Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Palghar. In year one, we target to create and nurture 1500 tourism and hospitality entrepreneurs. This will motivate tourism and open up new destinations and unique experiences for travellers.”
Chris Lehane, Global Head of Policy and Communications, Airbnb said, “Airbnb’s commitment is to create 50,000 hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India. The launch of the Accelerator Programme is a major step towards realising our commitment and Maharashtra is our lead partner in creating a progressive, sustainable tourism ecosystem in India.”
“Through our partnership signed last year, Airbnb and Maharashtra Tourism have worked together to train hundreds of micro-entrepreneurs across key tourism districts,” said Mr.Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Head, Airbnb India. “We’re thrilled to today announce the expansion of this partnership through the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme and continue to play a role in supporting healthy, sustainable tourism in Maharashtra.