Business

Airbnb to promote Experiences in Sri Lanka to boost authentic tourism

Sri Lanka today became the first country in Asia to have a strategic partnership between its national tourism body and Airbnb, the world’s biggest accommodation-sharing platform, to launch Airbnb Experiences locally.

The company signed an agreement with Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) today to work together to onboard local experience hosts onto the Airbnb platform and help locals across Sri Lanka share their passions and interests with travelers from around the world.

Airbnb announced that over 40 diverse Airbnb experiences have been designed and led by local experts in Sri Lanka, from heritage trails in Galle to surfing experiences in Mirissa, and adventure walks in national parks to discovering the best local food spots in Colombo.

Airbnb Experiences are activities or excursions that are led by passionate local hosts, highlighting their interests and perspective as well as unique places many visitors might not otherwise get to experience.

Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Manager India & Sri Lanka, said, “Through this Asia-first partnership, travelers, led by passionate local hosts, will be able to immerse themselves in unique cultural experiences across Sri Lanka.”

SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka said this partnership would help drive authentic and sustainable tourism across the country.

“We are excited to work with AirBnB to promote experiences in Sri Lanka and we are of the view that an engagement of this nature would be of great value to the tourism industry of Sri Lanka. We look forward to offer a high-level of commitment to support AirBnB Experiences and use this opportunity to add value to the tourism experience that Sri Lanka offers.”

Thao Nguyen, Airbnb’s APAC Head of Strategic Partnerships, said,

“Airbnb experience hosts are the embodiment of healthy travel. Our Sri Lankan hosts are local microentrepreneurs sharing their passions to earn vital income, while providing the kind of authentic experiences that tourists want.”

Airbnb serves 6 million travelers a year and currently lists 800,000 properties in 34,000 cities across 90 different countries. Launched in 2016, Airbnb Experiences now offers over 15,000 experiences in 800+ cities.

Pictured here (From L to R) are Upali Ratnayake, Kavan Ratnayaka, Telecommunications, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Minister Harin Fernando, Amanpreet Bajaj and Thao Nguyen at the signing ceremony.