Airbnb Invests $1 Million in US-Japan Rural Tourism Exchange Program

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 16, 2024 19:33 PMNews
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Japan flag against blue sky
Japan flag against blue sky . Source: pixabay

In recognition of the inaugural US-Japan Tourism Year and Airbnb's dedication to fostering global connections through travel, the company has committed $1 million to support a multi-year rural tourism exchange initiative between the United States and Japan. This program aims to bolster economic opportunities in rural regions of both nations.

The announcement coincides with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's official visit to the US and underscores Airbnb's mission to encourage travel to lesser-known destinations, thereby bolstering local economies.The exchange program will facilitate two cohorts of 15-20 Japanese tourism and hospitality professionals visiting the US in 2024-2025.

They will engage in collaborative projects with their American counterparts and gain insights into best practices in rural tourism through the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) sponsored by the State Department.Airbnb's commitment to dispersing tourism to various locales is evident from the fact that in 2023, guests traveled to over 100,000 cities and towns across more than 200 countries, with nearly 600 cities and towns in the US receiving their first Airbnb booking. Similarly, Japan witnessed a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of cities and towns hosting their inaugural guests, with a significant portion in non-urban areas.

Japanese participants in the exchange will have the opportunity to experience American culture firsthand by staying in Airbnb accommodations, fostering meaningful connections with hosts, and witnessing the positive impact of tourism on rural economies.

The funding for this program aligns with Airbnb's broader initiatives to support communities and promote tourism in Japan. Earlier efforts include providing housing assistance to evacuees affected by natural disasters and contributing to the restoration of traditional Japanese homes through partnerships with local organizations.

Through initiatives like the US-Japan rural tourism exchange program, Airbnb continues to demonstrate its commitment to fostering cultural exchange, promoting economic development, and enriching travel experiences worldwide.

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