Partnership with Airbnb Will Benefit Ordinary Jamaicans

Story Highlights

  • Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people wanting to rent their homes and spaces with people needing affordable accommodation.
  • Last week, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company, which establishes a framework of cooperation to further boost and diversify the country’s tourism product, specifically relating to accommodation.
  • Airbnb is the largest reservation centre worldwide with 140 million room nights. There are 14,000 rooms in Jamaica listed on the site, and last year the country received 32,000 visitors through this service

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the partnership with United States-based online company Airbnb will be beneficial to ordinary Jamaicans by affording them ownership of an aspect of the tourism product.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people wanting to rent their homes and spaces with people needing affordable accommodation.

“We regard this as a broadening of the stakeholdership in the industry,” the Minister said.

Last week, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company, which establishes a framework of cooperation to further boost and diversify the country’s tourism product, specifically relating to accommodation.

“Ordinary Jamaicans are renting out their space in places like Trench Town, Greenwich Town, Portmore, Kingston and Montego Bay. Ordinary Jamaicans have been benefiting. This is an innovation that is redefining access to tourism and travel and it fits into a deeper economic arrangement called the sharing economy,” the Minister said.

Speaking on a Jamaica Information Service (JIS)  television programme, ‘Issues & Answers’, Mr. Bartlett said that through the two-year agreement, the Government will be taking steps to ensure security of quality, standards and efficiencies in the service and accommodations offered by local homeowners to tourists.

“We will have interest in ensuring that these stakeholders are on point. The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) will ensure destination assurance. The

Government will be helping to enable that to happen without burden to the local stakeholders,” he said.

The Minister said the partnership will also be critical in helping the Government in data mining and marketing of Jamaica’s tourism product. Data, through the use of the Airbnb website, will help the Ministry of Tourism to allocate resources, advertise more efficiently, and measure the returns on investments by geographic area, demography as well as investment group.

“We see the partnership as being very critical, not just from the point of view of expanding visitor arrival and the growth and broadening of stakeholdership locally, but also in terms of management of the tourism product,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Airbnb is the largest reservation centre worldwide with 140 million room nights. There are 14,000 rooms in Jamaica listed on the site, and last year the country received 32,000 visitors through this service.

JIS Social