Goa's Golden Goose: Airbnb Pumps $920M Into India’s GDP, One Beach House at a Time!

Goa's Golden Goose: Airbnb Pumps $920M Into India’s GDP, One Beach House at a Time!

By Author

Published on October 10, 2023

In 2022, Airbnb not only turned homes into havens for wanderers but also cranked India's economic wheel, injecting a whopping USD 920 million into the nation’s GDP. The intuitive knack of turning cozy corners into hosts for curious travellers has led to the creation of 85,000 jobs, a report by Oxford Economics highlighted. These numbers, as bouncy as a comfy Airbnb bed, have more than doubled since 2019.

Goa, with its scenic views, inviting beaches, and a nightlife as sparkling as its waters, earned the gold star. Airbnb guests in this coastal paradise contributed USD 190 million to its local economy. Cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, and Manali also shared in the Airbnb buzz, but well, Goa is Goa!

In a year, where screen time was almost synonymous with lifetime, domestic travellers found solace in the arms of Airbnb. The live-anywhere, work-from-anywhere trend, though born out of necessity, found its groove. The intimate, personalized and, often, quirky abodes listed on Airbnb offered a change of scene, a breath of fresh air, and oh, how we needed that!

James Lambert of Oxford Economics paints Airbnb as a catalyst in rejuvenating India’s travel and tourism sector. Post-COVID, it wasn't just about opening doors but opening opportunities for local businesses. The coffee shops at the corners, the stores selling trinkets, the eateries serving love on plates, all felt the warm embrace of economic revival.

Now, why is this a big deal? Because as travellers, our wanderlust doesn’t just take us places; it propels economies. Every booking, every exploration feeds into the intricate economic ecosystem of the destination. A fact,  Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s GM for India and Southeast Asia, agrees.

As travellers cross through cities and rural pockets, powered by Airbnb, every check-in card becomes a ticket to economic revival for the locals. The tourism fabric of India is not just being mended but is weaving in more intricate, colourful, and diverse patterns, thanks to the silent, steady spinning wheel of Airbnb.

And as we pack our bags again, with the world opening up its skies and doors, it’s not just about where we’re headed but also about the economic imprints our footprints are leaving behind. So, next stop - Goa, perhaps?


IndiGo Elevates Travel Experience: Introducing Business Class

IndiGo Elevates Travel Experience: Introducing Business Class

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on May 25, 2024

Get ready to experience travel like never before as IndiGo, India's premier airline, announces its exciting new venture – Business Class services! Amidst the dynamic growth of India's economy, IndiGo is stepping up to redefine premium travel with tailor-made offerings, enhancing the journey for passengers across the nation's busiest routes.

With a fleet of over 360 aircraft and around 2,000 daily flights, IndiGo has been a cornerstone of India's aviation landscape for nearly 18 years. Now, the airline is set to revolutionize business travel with its innovative approach to service.

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"In a groundbreaking move to redefine business travel in India, IndiGo announces the plan to launch a tailor-made business product for India’s busiest and business routes," says Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo. "As India gears up to become the third largest economy in the world, it's our privilege to provide the New India even more options to choose from as they travel business."

The new Business Class service will offer a desired option for many passengers, catering to their evolving aspirations. Set to be operational before the end of the year, the service will be available on the busiest routes of the nation, providing a seamless blend of comfort and convenience for travelers.

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Detailed information about the product offering, launch date, and routes will be unveiled in August, coinciding with IndiGo’s 18th anniversary. This milestone marks a significant step in the airline's evolution, reflecting its commitment to innovation and excellence in service.

As IndiGo continues to grow and adapt to the changing needs of passengers, the introduction of Business Class is another testament to its dedication to providing exceptional travel experiences. Stay tuned for more updates as IndiGo transforms the way we fly, one journey at a time.


Jordan Tourism Board Launches New Brand Film Tailored for Indian Travelers

Jordan Tourism Board Launches New Brand Film Tailored for Indian Travelers

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 24, 2024

The Jordan Tourism Board has unveiled a new brand film crafted specifically for the Indian market, encapsulating the stunning beauty and rich cultural tapestry of Jordan. Featuring Bollywood elements and led by popular Indian influencers Aakriti Rana Gill and Shaurya Sandhya Tulshyan, the film aims to draw Indian adventurers to the mesmerizing landscapes and historical wonders of Jordan.

Set against the backdrop of iconic locations like the ancient city of Petra and the vibrant capital, Amman, the film merges traditional Jordanian visuals with a Bollywood flair to create a relatable and enthralling experience for Indian viewers. The influencers guide viewers through a series of adventures, from exploring the majestic ruins of Petra to the modern streets of Amman, highlighting the diverse attractions Jordan has to offer.

The film also promotes the convenience of travel for Indian tourists, emphasizing the visa-on-arrival facility available for Indian passport holders. It showcases a range of activities including historical exploration, culinary journeys, and thrilling adventures in Wadi Rum and Aqaba.

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Accompanied by the soulful tune “Zahir” by Indian artist Akanksha Sethi, the film not only showcases the scenic beauty of Jordan but also its cultural resonance with Indian traditions. The inclusion of local dining experiences and unique accommodations, like Martian tents in Wadi Rum, promises a blend of excitement and comfort tailored to Indian tastes.

This strategic initiative by the Jordan Tourism Board is designed to enhance its visibility and appeal in the Indian market, encouraging more travelers to explore the rich heritage and natural beauty of Jordan. The film concludes by inviting viewers to experience the timeless allure of Jordan, positioning it as a top destination for Indian travelers seeking a blend of adventure, history, and cultural immersion.


EU Announces Increase in Schengen Visa Fees by 12% Starting June 2024

EU Announces Increase in Schengen Visa Fees by 12% Starting June 2024

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 23, 2024

The European Union has confirmed a 12% hike in the fees for Schengen visas, a change set to take effect on June 11, 2024. This increase adjusts the cost from EUR 80 to EUR 90 for adults and from EUR 40 to EUR 45 for children aged six to twelve. The revision, part of a routine assessment conducted every three years, reflects ongoing economic factors including inflation and the salaries of civil servants. Notably, countries not cooperating on the readmission of citizens may see fees surge to EUR 135 or even EUR 180.

This fee adjustment was decided after a review in December 2023 under the Schengen Visa Code, which governs the framework of EU visa charges. The last modification occurred in February 2020, marking a significant rise from EUR 60 to EUR 80. The decision, however, has sparked discontent among various groups, particularly Turkish citizens, who have been anticipating a visa-free agreement with the EU.

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In 2023, the Schengen area, which comprises 29 European countries, received over 10.3 million short-stay visa applications. This figure represents a 37% increase from the previous year, although it still does not match the pre-pandemic peak of 17 million applications in 2019. Indian nationals, showing a significant interest in European destinations, contributed to this volume with 966,687 visa applications, ranking third after China and Turkey.

The surge in applications has led to logistical challenges, including a shortage of available slots for visa interviews, affecting travel plans for many. To alleviate some of these issues, the European Commission has introduced a new visa "cascade" system for Indian nationals, facilitating easier access to multi-entry visas with longer validity periods, enhancing the travel experience for frequent visitors to the Schengen zone.

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