Like tourism, which now accounts for more than 10 percent of the world’s global GDP, the creative economy is thriving worldwide. In Thailand, new Airbnb data shows that there are 2,000 passionate Airbnb hosts in Thailand who work in the creative industry.
These creative entrepreneurs, many of whom live in cities and work away from home for extended periods, are embracing digital and technology platforms to help support themselves, fund their passions and showcase their creative work.
Most share their extra living space through Airbnb Homes, setting their own listing prices and keeping 97% of all revenue. In fact, 60% of all creative Home hosts globally say Airbnb has helped them afford to stay in their homes. Others share their passions and craftsmanship by hosting Airbnb Experiences, handcrafted activities for small groups of guests. They set their own listing prices and keep 80% of all revenue earned, while gradually building a following for their creative work.
“Thriving creative communities are essential to vibrant, inclusive economies such as Thailand. Airbnb is proud of the supporting role we play as a technology platform that leverages the growing interest in travel to promote local culture and creativity, while nurturing tourism that is local, authentic and sustainable,” said Mich Goh, Airbnb Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia.
Airbnb’s Key Findings in Thailand
- Almost a quarter of all creative Airbnb hosts in Thailand are based in Bangkok. They know the soul of Bangkok’s cultural scene, and are eager to share the creative and cultural highlights of their city with guests within their very own neighbourhoods.
- According to Airbnb’s Healthy Travel and Healthy Destinations 2018 Report for Bangkok, 78% of all Bangkok hosts offered recommendations for cultural activities to their guests. Half of all cultural activities recommended are located within a 20-minute walk of their listing, encouraging guests to venture beyond popular tourist areas and explore the local, authentic side of Thailand’s neighbourhoods.
- In addition, one in every five Airbnb Experiences in Thailand are creative-based — rooted in the arts, entertainment, fashion or music.
- 60% of all Airbnb Experiences hosts in Thailand are women, reflecting UNESCO’s observation of the inclusivity of the creative sector toward young people, women and small businesses.
Meet Creative Airbnb Host, Ananda Chalardcharoen
An avid Airbnb user and traveler, Ananda Chalardcharoen enjoys seeking unique and attractive on Airbnb on her travels. That’s why when she had the chance to be a host herself, she quickly jumped at the opportunity.
Today, Ananda is the owner of The Mustang Nero Hotel – a quirky boutique hotel tucked away in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit soi 46. Housed in a renovated old commercial building, the hotel blends chic simplicity with a raw vintage aesthetic. Ananda’s background in fashion design clearly inspires the hotel’s zany tropical-themed interior. Each of the hotel’s ten rooms is intricately decorated and named after a unique animal, from ‘The Zebra Song’ to ‘Black Bird’ and ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’.
“The Mustang Nero Hotel is one-of-a-kind. I’ve put a lot of effort into the design and décor to ensure our guests have a truly unique stay, and at the same time I hope to showcase a creative side of Thailand to my guests,” Ananda shares. “Airbnb is the primary online platform we use. I feel like we have grown together – Airbnb has been essential in helping The Mustang Nero Hotel reach customers and grow as a business. I would say 95% of our bookings today come through Airbnb.”
Located in the heart of the city, The Mustang Nero Hotel offers guests a mini green oasis with lush foliage artfully planted throughout the hotel. Having grown up in the Phra Khanong area, Ananda loves to share local insights and knowledge with her guests. A self-curated local guidebook in Thai, English and Chinese is available for guests, and includes her tips and secrets to the neighbourhood.
A Growing Partnership Catalogue
Airbnb became the first travel platform in Thailand to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association to bring more than 50 boutique hotels across 15 provinces onto the platform this year. The partnership recognises that creative boutique entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly key role in driving the local tourism ecosystem, and aims to spotlight authentic Thai hospitality, culture and design in boutique hotels.
In June, the company launched Airbnb Experiences in Chiang Mai and the rest of Thailand alongside a panel discussion with the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I), Creative Chiang Mai and Chiang Mai University. With popular experiences including Thai Traditional Yantra Tattoo and Kow Soy Noodle Making, Airbnb aims to continue supporting the creative and cultural Northern Thai capital as an ever popular global travel destination.