GSB and Airbnb join forces for homestay

The state-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) will offer special loans to homestay operators, and Airbnb will help those operators access travelers through the accommodation-sharing giant’s platform.

GSB’s partnership with Airbnb for homestay owners is a pilot project that will expand to other hospitality entrepreneurs in the future, said the bank’s chairman and chief executive, Chatchai Payuhanaveechai.

The program is expected to support local sustainable tourism while diversifying income distribution to communities across Thailand, in line with the government’s initiative to boost local economic growth in secondary towns through tourism, Chatchai said.

Under this program, the state-controlled bank will provide a set of special loans – smaller, flexible loans – to hotel micro-entrepreneurs who meet the bank’s requirements.

Airbnb will train GSB managers to give them the skills to navigate its global platform and pass on knowledge to homestay owners who borrow through the program.

It is a mission of the bank to strengthen the basic economy by creating jobs and markets for these people to increase their incomes, Mr. Chatchai said.

The bank has lent 28 million baht for the development of local host families in 100 communities across the country, he said, adding that the loans were given to more than 300 host family operators at a rate cheap 0.75% per month.

No collateral is required when the loan amount is less than 1 million baht. The bank has not set a target for the loan program, opting to provide support if needed.

“Local homestays are increasingly integral to the development of our tourism industry and our communities,” said Chatchai. “It helps to create both economic and social value.”

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