Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, the 35-year old co-founder and CEO of world’s highest valued travel startup Airbnb firmly believes that India is all set to become one of the largest travel markets in the world.
Chesky feels that in India Airbnb has also become a source of financial independence for so many women. He said in his interview,“ in India, most of the hosts have had stories of hosting a 100 people from all over the world. These women [hosts] also had amazing stories of a sense of personal transformation, financial independence.”
On his visit to New Delhi, Chesky told that India and Airbnb has a big plan for China and India to have long-term bets, valued at over USD 31 billion. The company has big investors such as Sequoia Capital, JPMorgan and has raised USD 3.40 billion so far.
In an Interview, he said “China and India are both going to be similar in size, just that China is going to get there sooner. China’s earlier on the curve, in terms of infrastructure and income per capita, and by 2035, India and China will be the two biggest travel economies in the world, and India won’t be much smaller than China.”
He added a few more on the requirement of infrastructure developing in India. As per the co-founder, “more and more people are going to have to discover India, get comfortable with India and the perceived risk of visiting has to go down.”
Chesky also marked out the differences between an Indian and a western traveller.
He stated, “The difference between Airbnb in India and in other parts of the world is that price points of AirBnb in India are a little higher, relative to its economy. What we call budget in the US, might be called affluent here. Most Indian people travelling around the world are still spending less than USD 100 a night.”
Till no, the company has over 22,000-odd listings in India which are priced at an estimated average of Rs 2500 in India’s metro cities. In comparison, budget room aggregators such as OYO Rooms have priced rooms in metro cities at around Rs 1500-Rs 2,500.
The company is setting their eyes on the foreign and leisure travellers who are looking for an Indian experience than a typical budget business traveller who is looking for an inexpensive room in a central business district of a city.