This Wednesday, October 24th, Airbnb hosted Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) at its San Francisco headquarters and announced further progress in their commitments to promoting sustainable travel in the region and economic opportunity for the local population. During Riley’s visit, the CTO and Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pledging to cooperate on the promotion of Caribbean countries as desirable tourism destinations.
Through the marketing partnership, the platform can collaborate with regional tourism boards, enabling destinations to reach Airbnb’s vast global community through media platforms. During the visit, discussions centered on expanding collaborative ways to market the region and partnerships to facilitate destination marketing, host recruitment, and improving the guest experience.
Last year alone, over 1.6 million guests booked accommodation in the Caribbean through the platform, an increase of 117% compared to 2016. Hosts set their desired listing price on the platform and keep 97% of it. In the Caribbean, a typical host had $3,700 USD earnings in the last 12 months.
“Airbnb is deeply committed to the Caribbean and we are proud to take this next step with the CTO. The platform helps diversify the tourism sector, attract new travelers and empowers over 50,000 hosts in the region”, saidChris Lehane, Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs for Airbnb.
Improving the expansion of disaster relief efforts
Airbnb and CTO also agreed to do joint research to further understand the impact of the 2017 hurricane season on the Caribbean tourism sector and the industry’s recovery to date. One pillar of this commitment is Airbnb’s Open Homes program, a platform to provide free temporary housing to relief workers and people displaced by natural disasters.
Through collaboration with local stakeholders, Airbnb has demonstrated its commitment to support healthy tourism and has signed agreements with 14 countries in the region. Earlier this year, Airbnb and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) also agreed to launch a destination marketing campaign. Puerto Rico collaborated with Airbnb on a series of targeted efforts, including the launch of Airbnb’s popular Experiences.
Airbnb will continue working with governments to promote the benefits of visiting the Caribbean to help stimulate inclusive, sustainable tourism throughout the region.