The Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb, a leading vacation rental company, have formed a strategic partnership to promote India as a top tourism destination for global travelers, with a special emphasis on heritage homestays. The signing of an MoU between the two parties took place at a side event held in preparation for the fourth G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting.
The agreement was witnessed by Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy and a senior representative of Airbnb, in the presence of numerous G20 delegates. To commemorate the occasion, a dedicated microsite called ‘Soul of India’ was launched. According to a senior official, this collaboration aims to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage by promoting travel to unique heritage homes and sites across the country.
The microsite highlights India’s vibrant tapestry of history and culture, offering a catalog of heritage homestays ranging from centuries-old havelis in Rajasthan to bungalows in South India and farm stays in Shimla.
The MoU, which had been in the works for several years, was expedited by the G20 meetings after facing delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a significant milestone as the final Tourism Working Group Meeting takes place in Goa.
The MoU aims to utilize the marketing potential of platforms like Airbnb to promote heritage homes to a wider audience, providing tourists with a unique and immersive experience. The Ministry of Tourism will actively support and promote these heritage homestays.
Amanpreet Bajaj, the head of India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for Airbnb, was present at the MoU signing ceremony in Goa.
In a tweet, Bajaj expressed excitement about the partnership and its potential to promote inbound tourism and showcase India’s rich culture.
During the event, M Beena, Chairperson of the Cochin Port Authority, delivered a presentation on the development of India as a hub of cruise tourism and shared timelines for upcoming cruise terminals in the country.
According to Beena, the international cruise terminal in Mumbai will be operational by December 2023, followed by the international cruise terminal in Mormugao, Goa, in November. The cruise terminal in Visakhapatnam is expected to be operational by June. Several new cruise lines will also begin operations in India from this year onwards.
This story is syndicated from PTI and has not been edited by News18 staff.
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