Airbnb participated during the High-level Discussion “The Future of Tourism, what is next?” organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, as part of the Future Tourism Regional Policy Dialogues. In the chat, the Airbnb platform, the future of travel and the Digital Nomads trend were discussed.
The “Future-Tourism (FUT-Tourism): Rethinking Tourism and MSMEs in times of COVID-19” project covers 10 countries and territories in the Eastern Caribbean such as Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Spanning from January 2021 to June 2022, this project aims at revamping the tourism sector in the region through regional dialogues and policy solutions as well as supporting MSMEs that have been impacted by COVID-19 within the tourism sector through technical and financial assistance. With gender equality and empowerment of women at its core, the project seeks to promote economic diversification, job creation and resilience with the “Blue Economy for Green Islands” approach.
Speaking to the future of tourism and the way forward for actionable change, Luis Felipe López-Calva, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted, “The challenge ahead is to rethink the future of tourism – the pandemic provides a turning point to change the paradigm to more sustainable and diverse forms of tourism built on maximizing the blue, green and orange economies.” The high-level discussion had the objective of raising awareness about critical aspects in tourism that can fundamentally affect the speed, sustainability, and inclusiveness of economic recovery in the Eastern Caribbean.
On these same efforts and recognizing the economic challenges facing communities worldwide, in June 2020, Airbnb launched an initiative to expand its work with destination marketing organizations, governments, and nonprofits to support local economic recovery. In that regard, according to Airbnb internal data, hosts keep up to 97 percent of what they charge for sharing their home, and 43% of guest spending occurs in the communities where they stay.
Regarding this matter, recently Airbnb announced that the company has secured more than 100 partnerships and collaborations spanning more than two dozen countries to contribute to tourism recovery. Many of these agreements are focused on rural travel and tourism recovery. One of these partnerships is the one Airbnb signed with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to contribute to tourism recovery in many of its member countries across Airbnb’s vast global community.
“With the Caribbean continuing to re-open, we’re helping to usher in the safe return of travel to this amazing region. We’re also excited to help rebuild tourism in the Caribbean and want to promote the important economic impact driven by hosting on Airbnb,” commented Flávia Matos, Latin America Public Policy Director at Airbnb. “We pride ourselves on being able to showcase the best that destinations have to offer. Whether through showcasing skills and traditions via Experiences, or providing a source of income to invest in homes, we believe in the power of our platform to play a role in preserving and presenting a destination’s culture. And importantly, we believe in the power of our platform to allow communities to do this in a way that not only invites guests in, but makes them feel like they belong.”
As part of its global efforts to work with governments and tourism agencies to support responsible travel and local economic growth, This collaboration is designed to amplify the Caribbean’s recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic by promoting safe, responsible travel to the region. As part of this partnership, Airbnb launched a landing page highlighting the CTO’s member countries and their respective protocols for safe travel during this time.