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Airbnb: $840M added to PH economy last year

Airbnb activities contributed $840 million (P45.7 billion) to the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) and supported nearly 103,800 jobs last year, the firm running the online homestay marketplace claimed.

In a statement, Airbnb Inc. said that a commissioned report by economic advisory firm Oxford Economics found the platform "played a crucial role in the Philippines tourism industry's contribution to GDP and employment."

For the first full year after international travel reopened — covering up to March 2023 — Airbnb guests were said to have spent $876 million in restaurants, retail stores and on transportation.

In terms of domestic tourism alone, spending totaled $445 million (P24.2 million), Airbnb said.

One in every 77 jobs in the tourism industry in the Philippines was also associated with the platform, it added.

The report also said that travel behaviors had changed, with tourism being dispersed away from urban areas and flexible work arrangements driving long-term stays.

James Lambert, Oxford Economics director for economic consulting in Asia, said Airbnb played a major role in the resilience and rebirth of the Philippines travel and tourism sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Airbnb has been at the heart of some of the trends reshaping the nation's travel and tourism industry, including the shift in travel away from cities and toward more rural communities, and the increase in demand for long-stay trips, exemplified by the live and work anywhere phenomenon," he added.

Amanpreet Singh Bajaj, Airbnb general manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said the report showed "powerful economic ripple effects that have enabled the growth of local businesses such as shops, restaurants, bars and cafés, which are often central to how travelers experience a destination — and created job opportunities for the locals."

"The growth of the long-term stays segment since 2020 — enabled by flexible work policies and supported by Airbnb's Live and Work Anywhere program — is helping destinations attract guests who stay longer and spend more per trip," he added.

Bajaj said that Airbnb was committed to further partnering with governments and communities as part of rebuilding the tourism industry.

Source: Manila Times

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