With India’s GenZs and Millennials showing surging interest in travel to Japan and South Korea, and an increased appetite to learn Japanese and Korean, Airbnb and Duolingo are launching a unique campaign that provides travellers with an extraordinary opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of these two unique countries. The program aims to reduce the language barrier that often impedes deeper cultural immersion, and equip travelers with essential language skills to enhance their appreciation and understanding of local customs and traditions.

The spike in language learning on the App perfectly aligns with the increased searches for local stays on Airbnb, demonstrating a desire amongst Indians to break down the language barriers and engage in more meaningful connections with the local communities while travelling to Japan or South Korea. Recent Airbnb data has revealed a significant uptick in travel interest to Japan and South Korea. We have seen an almost 75 percent growth in searches for Airbnb stays in Korea and almost a whopping 300 percent increase for stays in Japan[1].

Concurrently, the App has reported a notable trend in language learning preferences among Indians, with Japanese and Korean emerging as some of the most popular languages learnt on the platform. Globally, Japanese ranks as the fifth most learnt language, while Korean has jumped to the sixth position, as highlighted in the 2023 the App’s Language Report, which tracks the world’s biggest trends in language learning. The report also indicated a remarkable 75% year-over-year growth in Korean language learning among learners in India[2]. This parallel rise in travel and language interests underlines a growing fascination with Japanese and Korean cultures among Indian travelers.

Building on these trends, the platforms  are teaming up to transform the travel experiences to Japan and South Korea, targeting the language barrier that often impedes deeper cultural immersion. This collaboration seeks to equip travelers with the essential language skills, enhancing their understanding and appreciation of local customs and traditions.


By merging Duolingo’s language learning expertise with Airbnb’s locally hosted stays, this initiative promises a more enriched and authentic travel journey. Travelers can now navigate through these destinations with newfound confidence in their language abilities while staying at local Airbnb stays that offer them the opportunity to live like a local.

“Airbnb has always believed in promoting authentic travel and meaningful connections. Our recent data shows a surge in interest among Indian GenZs and Millennials searching for stays on our platform, with Japan and South Korea being popular destinations for cultural exploration. Recognizing that language barriers can dampen the richness of travel, our collaboration with Duolingo goes beyond language learning; it’s about deeply immersing travelers in new cultures, creating lasting experiences and memories,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s General Manager for India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

“At Duolingo, our mission is to make language learning fun and effective. We are delighted to partner with Airbnb to bring an opportunity that blends learning and traveling in such a seamless manner, providing people with all the right tools to allow them to have an authentic experience and overcome language barriers during travel with ease,” said George Audi, Global Head of Business Development & Partnerships for Duolingo.

Through January 2, 2024, 11:59 PM IST, eligible applicants may participate in the contest by visiting airbnb.com/duolingo and completing the application form.


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