CTO signs agreement with leading accommodations company

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Feb 7, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Tuesday said it had signed an agreement with the worldwide accommodations leader, Airbnb, to develop a set of policy principles and recommendations on the sharing economy for Caribbean governments and other stakeholders.
Under the agreement, both organizations will share data and studies with policymakers about the positive impact of the sharing economy in the region; identify ways to make it more inclusive; and broaden the benefits of tourism to non-traditional actors, attract new stakeholders and focus on providing amazing and unique travel and cultural experiences to visitors.
The agreement was signed by CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley and Airbnb’s public policy director for Central America the Caribbean, Shawn Sullivan.
“This partnership agreement will also provide to the CTO an economic analysis of Airbnb’s positive impact on local economies. By reviewing Airbnb’s aggregate data, key stakeholders will be briefed on the value of a peer-to-peer review mechanisms, 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,” the CTO said in a statement.
Riley said 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,”  Riley said.
Currently, there are 41,000 listings across the Caribbean and a typical host in the Caribbean earns approximately US$3,900 annually.
CTO said the agreement will also help to identify new ways to market the Caribbean as a region under the theme “One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean” and grow the tourism industry.
“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,” Sullivan said.
With this cooperation agreement, Airbnb will continue promoting tourism and highlighting Caribbean history and culture. The strategy focuses on the diversification of the tourism industry and the expansion of the economic opportunities for the Caribbean people, CTo added.

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