The agreement was signed at CTO's headquarters in Barbados this morning by Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary Hugh Riley and Airbnb Public Policy Director for Central America and the Caribbean, Shawn Sullivan.
Airbnb has been growing in popularity in the region, especially within the last year, recording more than 25,000 listings in the Caribbean as of February 2016.
Said Sullivan, "This is an exciting partnership for Airbnb. We look forward to working with the CTO to develop policy recommendations for regional governments and other stakeholders on the sharing economy. The Caribbean is an important and growing market for Airbnb and we expect continued growth there."
Under the MOU, both sides have agreed to develop a set of policy principles and recommendations on the sharing economy for Caribbean governments. These include sharing data and studies with policymakers about the positive impact of sharing economy in the region, identify ways to make it more exclusive, as well as broaden the benefits of tourism to non-traditional actors.
Riley said the agreement will allow the CTO to be in a position to properly advise its members on Airbnb.
“The CTO is establishing a basis for mutual cooperation with Airbnb. It is important for us to examine all aspects of this important segment of the sharing economy. We believe that by clearly understanding Airbnb’s massive influence in capturing consumers’ interest in unique accommodations we will be in a position to properly advise our members and to allow the Caribbean to achieve the goals of year-round profitability, visitor satisfaction and sustainable tourism development.”
The partnership agreement will give key stakeholders the opportunity to review Airbnb’s aggregate data including the value of the peer-to-peer review mechanism, at the same time Caribbean government officials and other stakeholders learn about the long-term benefits of the sharing economy and home-sharing in particular.
It is estimated that a typical host earns approximately US$3,900 a year and there are currently 41,000 listings across the Caribbean.