Airbnb has officially joined the World Tourism Organization as an affiliate member.
In doing so, Airbnb joins the most influential community of leaders within the travel and tourism sector, including the UNWTO’s 157 member states and over 480 affiliate members from the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
“From Cuba to Cape Town, Airbnb is helping to grow and diversify tourism and democratize its benefits for more families, communities and local businesses,” said Chris Lehane, global head of public affairs at Airbnb.
“It’s a sustainable form of tourism that provides transformative travel by allowing people to live like a local.
“Airbnb guests don’t just go there they live there by staying in the homes of actual people; visiting the real neighbourhoods; and experiencing life the way a local does.
“We are excited to work with UNWTO and global leaders to harness the positive impacts of travel to activate new communities and bring the world a little closer together.”
Airbnb will participate in the UNWTO Seminar on “New Business Models” taking place at the 60th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe, in Lithuania.
“We welcome Airbnb as one of the newest UNWTO Affiliate Members,” said Taleb Rifai, UNWTO secretary general.
“The UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme gathers representatives from a wide range of non-governmental organizations and are a key feature of UNWTO work.”
According to the UNWTO, travel and tourism is one of the biggest sectors in the world.
In 2015 international tourist spending increased by 3.6 per cent to reach a record $1.4 trillion, making it the third largest export sector in the world after fuels and chemicals.
Airbnb has seen first-hand how tourism is supporting communities from all walks of life around the world.