Home away from home

With a global network to leverage, homestay pioneer Airbnb is going all out to woo the Indian traveller

Vishal Koul

The tiny pop-up informs you of the long-awaited email — your leave application approval. Within seconds you’re scouting numerous travel portals to book that perfect holiday. Tempting hotel packages vie for your attention as multiple tabs open up on the screen. But this time around you want to try out something different. The comfort of a standardised hotel room doesn’t seem alluring enough, you want it to be more than just another holiday. San Francisco-based homestay portal Airbnb is proposing the same idea in its global ad campaign that it launched in India early this year. “Don’t go there. Live there. Belong Anywhere,” says the 60-second commercial. Started in 2008, it has identified the country as one of its top growth destinations. Amanpreet Bajaj, who has donned the hats of an entrepreneur and investor, was chosen to steer Airbnb India’s journey as its country manager in 2015. However, the official launch happened in May 2016 in the presence of co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk.