‘She Travels, She Hosts’: Airbnb India celebrates women who empower the community

Women hosts in India earned US$10 million (INR 74 crore) in 2018, while Airbnb India has seen a whopping 32.53% increase in women hosts last year. 
Airbnb India
Airbnb India

This International Women’s Day, Airbnb India is celebrating the enterprising essence of our female host community with ‘She Travels, She Hosts’, an ode to women entrepreneurs, their inspirational journeys and how travel has played a crucial role in their lives.

Leveraging their individual and innate passion for hospitality, women make up a majority of Airbnb Home Hosts (55%) and Experience Hosts (50%) worldwide; earning nearly US$32 billion on Airbnb since the company was launched in 2008.

In India, Airbnb has seen a whopping 32.53% increase in women hosts between 2018 and 2019 with the largest number of women hosting in Goa, followed by Mumbai and Bangalore. Each female host in India typically earns close to US$1,323 (approximately INR 93,800), leading to an estimated total income of approximately US$10 million (INR 74 crore) in 2018.

“For me, travel has always been more than just discovering new places. Amidst the constant bustle of this fast-paced world, travel gives me a sense of liberation and peace of mind. I find that I have time to focus on my thoughts and put things in perspective. I think it's a common misconception that solo travel isn’t fun, but the sheer sense of empowerment it grants is beyond comparison” Dia Mirza, Actor, Producer, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador

Airbnb’s pioneering collaboration with SEWA, an organisation representing close to 2 million self-employed women living mostly in India’s rural areas, has been thriving since its inception in 2016. In a bid to promote tourism to quaint, rural locations of the country, this initiative inspired a much grander goal, that is to empower SEWA members to pursue their passions and earn a sustained livelihood, by becoming Airbnb Hosts. This partnership has witnessed a wave of entrepreneurial fervor that is truly inspiring. To date, SEWA hosts on Airbnb have earned more than US$15,000 and hosted over 500 guests from across Asia, USA and Europe.

Following their love for travel, Airbnb has empowered countless inspiring women to use its digital platform to support their families, meet new people and experience cultures from across the globe, even if they haven’t had the opportunity to travel overseas themselves.

“Travel is a muse that never ceases to inspire. Whether it’s the joy of being in a new place or the bliss of immersing myself in new cultures – travel has always helped me take a step away from the familiar and think out of the box. I love discovering new places and experiencing them like a local. Creativity often hides in the most offbeat locations and in my experience, travel truly elevates the mind and the soul.” Masaba Gupta, Founder and Creative Director, House of Masaba

Here are just a few of their stories:

<em>Soraya Postel, Home Superhost - Mumbai, India</em>
Soraya Postel, Home Superhost - Mumbai, India

Soraya Postel, Home Superhost - Mumbai, India
Soraya is an Airbnb Superhost and single mother who lives with her daughter Fabia, loves to travel and hosts guests from across the globe. Ever since Soraya decided to become an Airbnb Host, she has dedicated her time to providing extraordinary experiences to guests, and making each person feel at home while travelling. Her natural flair for hosting makes her an incredibly sought after host and a true brand ambassador. Soraya is a prime example of how women throughout our community are leveraging Airbnb to earn a living, and provide for their families while doing something they truly love.

<em>Gauriben Brahman, Home Host - Gujarat, India</em>
Gauriben Brahman, Home Host - Gujarat, India

Gauriben Brahman, Home Host - Gujarat, India
Gauriben Brahman’s house lies in the village of Bakutra in the province of Gujarat. It’s a thatched-roof house with three small rooms neatly lined with cots, and topped with hand embroidered sheets. Gauriben is an Airbnb host who welcomes guests from around the world, and in doing so, has earned more in one month from hosting on Airbnb than from an entire year harvesting crops. Gauriben is one of a number of hosts who are part of an initiative created by the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and Airbnb to bring new livelihood opportunities to rural areas of India. Since its launch back in early 2016, the number of women hosts participating in the program has more than doubled.

<em>Odette Mascarenhas, Experience Host - Goa, India</em>
Odette Mascarenhas, Experience Host - Goa, India

Odette Mascarenhas, Experience Host - Goa, India
A television host, a celebrated author and esteemed culinary critic – Odette Mascarenhas is all this and more. Popularly called the ‘culinary queen of Goa’, her journey with food and her passion has been a long yet exciting undertaking of preserving the rich traditions, culinary preparations and styles of the native people of the state. Through her ‘Brought in by the Portuguese Caravels’ Experience, Odette shares the history and traditions of Goan cuisine with her guests.

Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetise their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs.

Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 5+ million unique places to stay in more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests through 15,000 unique, handcrafted activities run by hosts across 1,000+ cities around the world. Airbnb's people-to-people platform benefits all its stakeholders, including hosts, guests, employees and the communities in which it operates.

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