Published on : Friday, August 24, 2018
Paving the way for regulation in the non-hotel accommodation space in Sri Lanka, Airbnb and the state-owned Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have entered into a strategic partnership for initiating Airbnb Experiences in the country.
Airbnb previously partnered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand on a similar initiative for local accommodation, but this association in Sri Lanka is the first in Asia where the home sharing giant is working with an NTO to onboard local experience hosts.
To quote Simran Kodesia, spokesperson for Airbnb in India, “We have (rolled out) Experiences in almost 800 cities globally but this is the first time in Asia we have partnered with a tourism authority (rather than) launch Experiences on our own.”
Travellers can now get to choose from more than 40 Airbnb Experiences in Sri Lanka designed and led by local experts. The experiences would range from heritage trails in southern Galle to surfing experiences in southern Mirissa, and adventure walks in Sri Lanka’s national parks for finding out the best local food spots in Colombo.
Other experiences include tuk-tuk (three-wheel ride) and possibly cricket lessons.
This move is being seen as a possible step towards “proper regulation”, said Harith Perera, President – Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators.
Almost 40 per cent of visitors to Sri Lanka prefer to stay in non-formal accommodation including homestays.