Airbnb signs deal with Thai government but remains illegal

Airbnb has signed its first deal with the Thai government but despite hinting June 26 that they may have found a compromise over laws governing accommodation providers, the service remains illegal.

The deal with the Thai Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration will see Airbnb working on training local provincial officials on hospitality, hosting and compliance standards, with a view to onboard existing homestays onto the global home sharing platform already offered by Airbnb.

Despite its illegality, the training will also show officials how to use Airbnb to “distribute tourism income to local communities across Thailand,” TTG reports.

“Digital technology fosters real-time audiovisual communication and connections between local communities and guests around the world, and will surely encourage economic development in rural areas.” Suttipong Juljarern from the Ministry of Interior is quoted as saying. “This will help us achieve the UN and the Royal Thai Government’s goals to alleviate poverty, as this additional stream of revenue for locals means the improvement of their living standards in all respects.”