In a session at the Skift Forum Asia, US=based homeshare company Airbnb crossed the million listings across Asia-Pacific, and more than 100 million guests have checked into an Airbnb homeshare in the region, providing hosts with earnings of around $10 billion.
Five years ago, Asia-Pacific accounted for just a fraction of the homesharing platform’s global business, with only 100,000 listings. Despite setbacks such as strict regulations in countries such as Singapore and Japan, “look how far we’ve come. And it is “still early days” of growth,” declared during a session at Skift Forum Asia in Singapore Siew Kum Hong, regional director of Airbnb Asia-Pacific.
The number is indeed impressive as Airbnb passed the million of shared-home and apartments in the region. Perspectives look brilliant according to Siew. Asia-Pacific will continue to be the key engine of growth for Airbnb, he added, pointing to markets such as India, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, which have huge concentrations of millennials. The homesharing app is available in 350 cities in the region and expects to end the year with more than 500 cities.
One of Airbnb’s strategies to increase listings is to diversify the range of rentals, on-boarding boutique accommodations, and serviced apartments, among others. When asked if it would onboard the major hotel chains, Siew was hesitant, saying that it’s important that Airbnb remains unrivaled as the brand offering unique, authentic local experiences. This is now offered through the Airbnb Experiences program that offers unusual activities and is doing “incredibly well” in Asia-Pacific according to Siew.
“Our guests are looking for unique experiences — that is why they come to Airbnb,” Siew pointed out. However, the initial generous idea to have local people welcoming others has been in some ways distorted. Many Airbnb guests actually never meet anyone, just communicating by sms or online messages and collecting keys in locked boxes…
Which is why Airbnb Experiences also avoids the mainstream and has done “incredibly well” in Asia-Pacific.