Airbnb launches campaign to immerse travellers in Japanese and Korean cultures

A chef rolls up a pork rib with cheeses as patrons look on, at a restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. Picture: Kim Hong-Ji, Reuters

A chef rolls up a pork rib with cheeses as patrons look on, at a restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. Picture: Kim Hong-Ji, Reuters

Published Dec 18, 2023


With 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 programme aims to reduce the language barrier that often impedes deeper cultural immersion, and equip travellers with essential language skills to enhance their appreciation and understanding of local customs and traditions.

The spike in language learning on Duolingo perfectly aligns with the increased searches for local stays on Airbnb, demonstrating a desire amongst travellers 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.

Concurrently, Duolingo has reported a notable trend in language learning preferences, 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 Duolingo Language Report, which tracks the world's biggest trends in language learning.

The report also indicated a remarkable 75 percent year-over-year growth in Korean language learning among learners.

By merging Duolingo's language learning expertise with Airbnb's locally hosted stays, this initiative promises a more enriched and authentic travel journey.

Travellers 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,“ said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb's General Manager for India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

“Recognising that language barriers can dampen the richness of travel, our collaboration with Duolingo goes beyond language learning; it's about deeply immersing travellers in new cultures, creating lasting experiences and memories.”