Sporting events such as cricket, the Australian Open and the F1 Grand Prix have made Australia a huge attraction for Indians travelling abroad. Amanpreet Bajaj, country manager, Airbnb, says Australia is among the top five destinations Indians choose. He also says they tend to be the foremost users of Airbnb in that country.
Why do you think Indians prefer the Airbnb experience?
Indian travellers in Australia prefer to stay in Airbnb because these homestays grant them unparalleled access to their favourite Australian cities, and enable them to experience them as locals. From 2016 to 2018, India has witnessed a leap in outbound travel to Australia, which is actually one of the fastest growing guest trends.
During the Indian summer, people go to Europe, but during the Christmas break and new year, the Australian summer and sporting events are a draw.
Is sports a key element to Indians planning their travel to Australia?
Airbnb in Australia has welcomed a tremendous number of Indian guests who are travelling for their love of sports. Melbourne being the sports hub of Australia, witnesses the largest number of Indian guests (followed by Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide). Interestingly, Indian guests who travel to Australia for sporting events, tend to stay longer than the average Airbnb guest. Also, with the launch of over 400 Airbnb experiences in Australia, people can go to the games but also enjoy the beauty of the country. The findings of an economic impact and benefits analysis carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that the last iteration of the ICC Cricket World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, generated more than AU$ 1.1 billion in direct spending, created the equivalent of 8,320 full-time jobs, and had a total of 2 million bed nights across the two countries. There were 1,45,000 international visitors to Australia and New Zealand for the tournament, providing a huge boost to tourism, with the largest number of overseas visitors coming from Asia.
With the launch of over 400 Airbnb experiences in Australia, people can go to the games but also enjoy the beauty of the country Amanpreet Bajaj
How important is the Indian market for Airbnb, globally?
Over one million Indians travelled with Airbnb globally, and there has been a whopping 115% increase in Indian listings over the past year. As Indian travellers, businesses and policy-makers continue to open up to the sharing economy, there is tremendous potential for Airbnb in India.
Each time we have entered a new market, we have tailored our process locally in order to make an impact. In India, Airbnb has enabled a wave of micro-entrepreneurs across the country, which is gaining momentum. More people are turning hosts because it is a unique way to transform their passion into a steady livelihood.
How is Airbnb performing in India?
Since Airbnb’s India launch in 2016, the growth has been exceptional on all fronts — in terms of the number of listings, hosts and travellers choosing Airbnb in India. Listings in India have grown by 115% over the past year, with over 40,000 listings across India currently. Over a million Indians have travelled using Airbnb globally, which is a tremendous testimony to the new-age Indian traveller’s willingness to experience the world in new ways, and the fact that Airbnb is enabling this process of discovery.
The overall response to Airbnb in India has been very positive, and we anticipate continued growth in this direction, having recently launched Experiences globally.
(The writer was in Melbourne recently during the Australian Open at the invitation of Airbnb)