Airbnb is certainly doing its best to build bridges with the hotel sector, even if it is against a backdrop of scepticism, and even hostility, in some quarters.
Its attempts to determinedly woo boutique hoteliers to its platform and away from the OTAs were scaled up in March of this year when it wrote an open letter to hotels, claiming it will charge lower commissions than the likes of Expedia and Booking.
In some territories, particularly in the US, hotel trade bodies are actively lobbying against Airbnb, but in Thailand it has managed to team up with one – the Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association (TBAA).
The industry-first partnership aims to “promote creative, people-powered Thai hospitality”. Through the partnership, Airbnb and the TBAA will bring boutique hotels onto Airbnb’s platform and connect them to its international network of travellers, which has seen more than 300 million guest arrivals since it was founded 10 years ago.
Airbnb is the first travel platform in Thailand to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the TBAA, and it would be no surprise if it is working behind the scenes on similar deals in other countries.
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