Airbnb and Caribbean Tourism Organization strengthen partnership

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

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Travel platform Airbnb and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have announced an agreement to promote destinations, a research project on the impact of last year's hurricane season, and continued joint outreach for collaboration with local governments

Airbnb hosted Hugh Riley, CEO and secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), at its San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, and announced new commitments to promoting authentic and sustainable travel in the region, as well as continuing to grow economic opportunity.

Last year alone, more than 1.6 million guests booked accommodation in the Caribbean through the platform, an increase of 117 per cent compared to 2016 according to a recent news release.

Through collaboration with local stakeholders, Airbnb has demonstrated its commitment to support healthy tourism and has signed collaboration or voluntary tax collection agreements with 14 countries in the region.

During Riley's visit to Airbnb headquarters, the CTO and Airbnb signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging to cooperate on areas of mutual interest including: the promotion of Caribbean countries as desirable tourism destinations, the undertaking of joint research to understand the impact of the home-sharing on economic recovery following the 2017 hurricane season, and other areas of mutual interest to both organisations.

“We are proud of the fact that the Caribbean is in such high demand among diverse and very discerning global travellers. Essentially, Airbnb is helping to make our region more competitive and to spread the benefits of the tourism industry across traditional and non-traditional segments of our communities,” said Riley. “Airbnb is deeply committed to the Caribbean and we are proud to take this next step with the CTO to advance our mission of local, authentic, and sustainable travel in the region. The platform helps diversify the tourism sector, attract new travellers, and empower over 50,000 hosts across the region”, said Chris Lehane, head of global policy and public affairs for Airbnb.

Hosts set their desired listing price on the platform and pay a three per cent commission to Airbnb for its platform services, allowing them to pocket 97 per cent of the nightly rate.

In the Caribbean, a typical host earned US$3,700 in the last 12 months.

Airbnb says it will continue working with governments to promote the benefits of visiting the Caribbean to help stimulate inclusive, sustainable tourism throughout the region.

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