Oxford Economics: Airbnb contributed $320m to Indian economy in 2019

India: Airbnb contributed over US $320 million [INR 22 billion] to India’s Gross Domestic Product and supported close to 50,000 local jobs in 2019 alone, according to the Oxford Economics’ The Economic Impact of Airbnb in India report released this week.

The landmark report explores the total economic impact of Airbnb in India between 2015 and 2019. The report found that between 2015 and 2019, Airbnb guest spending grew at an annualised rate of 83.4 per cent and Airbnb’s contribution to the Indian economy grew more than tenfold in real terms.

It also highlighted how Airbnb is spreading the benefits of tourism to local communities and supporting micro-entrepreneurship and small businesses.

In 2019, Airbnb guests spent more than US $249 million [INR 18 billion] in India, including more than US $94.3 million [INR 7 billion] in local shops and restaurants. On top of that, 6500 rupees out of every 10,000 spent outside accommodation by Airbnb guests in India went on shopping or food.

Ashish Kumar, co-chairman of FICCI Travel Technology Committee, said: “Travel and tourism is not only one of India’s highest foreign exchange earners, but also one of the largest employment generators in the country. We are in an ever-changing situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is reorienting and re-defining our relationship with the outside world, resulting in a new definition of social togetherness.

“This report mirrors and reflects that travel has progressively resonated with more consumers each year, as well as benefiting the local economies and communities. Tourism spends have continued to go up in the past few years, and understanding this pattern is the key to maintaining business interest, driving business transformation, innovating with continued investment in this sector, especially during the current critical times of recovery.

“Airbnb’s model is primed for supporting recovery through the mode of enabling communities,” added Kumar.

James Lambert, Oxford Economics’ director of economic consulting in Asia, said: “Airbnb is well placed to play an important role in bringing tourists, and their spending, back to destination economies, and in supporting the earlier recovery of domestic travel by helping households, particularly those who seek to substitute an international trip with a domestic one, discover new areas in their own country to visit.”

Amanpreet Bajaj, general manager – Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said: “The recovery of tourism and the recovery of the Indian economy are inextricably linked. The report shows how the authentic, affordable, and sustainable travel experiences offered by Airbnb can help accelerate recovery and create value for local microentrepreneurs, businesses and local communities.

“Looking forward, we want to continue to work closely with local governments to grow high-quality, sustainable tourism, support microentrepreneurship and help communities recover as quickly as possible. Our focus will continue to be to drive unique connections between our hosts and travel communities across segments,” added Bajaj.

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. Since then it has become one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms.