The Indian economy is growing and accommodation booking site Airbnb is witnessing a lot of momentum here, the company’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Nathan Blecharczyk said here on Wednesday. He was here for the official launch of Airbnb in India. The California-based company, launched in 2008, has 2 million listings globally.

Users can list and rent out their properties, ranging from rooms and villas to houseboats, castles and tree-houses. Travellers can book these online.

In India, 18,000 properties are listed on the Airbnb platform across 100 cities. “We have witnessed 115 per cent growth in listings in India over the last year,” Blecharczyk said, adding that by 2020 the Indian travel market is estimated to be worth $40 billion.

On the safety aspect, Blecharczyk said the company has a proven model and scale, and “half of the hosts on Airbnb are women”. Moreover, each listing is reviewed by several travellers, and this provides assurance to users, he said. It is important for hosts to maintain their standards, else they can be removed from the platform.

Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Manager, Airbnb India, said domestic travellers also present a huge opportunity for the company. “It also allows Indians to be micro-entrepreneurs, by serving as hosts on the platform,” he added.

Transactions on the platform in India has nearly tripled over the past year, the company said in a statement.

Nearly 5 lakh Indian guests have travelled via Airbnb. Also, India is a popular destination for travellers from the US, the UK and Australia, with Goa, New Delhi and Mumbai as top travel spots.