Airbnb partners with Smart, eyes expanded market

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Hospitality firm Airbnb, Inc. has partnered with Smart Communications, Inc. in a bid to expand its market and sustain its aggressive growth.

“The speed of growth last was 300 percent and we are expecting to sustain or even surpass it,” said Jia Jih Chai, Airbnb Southeast Asia managing director, at the sidelines of the partnership launch on Thursday.

Chai said tremendous growth in both Philippine listings and bookings had made the country one of the firm’s fastest growing markets in Asia.

“We want to grow here very quickly, getting travelers … booking via Airbnb … not just in Manila, Cebu or Boracay but also in smaller cities,” he said.


Chai said the lodging website would soon have listings in tourist favorites that include Palawan and Davao.

Airbnb, together with Smart, plan to offer a complete and convenient travel experience for Filipinos no matter what their destination is in the country and overseas.

Chai said, “Unforgettable travel experiences are literally just a few clicks away on Airbnb.

With almost 2 million homes to choose from all over the world, tree houses, holiday villas or designer apartments are safely and easily booked on a computer, mobile phone or tablet.”

“We can’t wait to see the unique accommodations around the world that Smart customers will book,” he added. Maria Laura Angeles

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