by Lisa A. Grimaldi | February 08, 2017
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, the region's tourism development agency, and Airbnb have signed an agreement 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 impact of the sharing economy in the region and identify ways to make it more inclusive. In addition, they will work to broaden the benefits of tourism to nontraditional sectors, attract new stakeholders, and focus on providing unique travel and cultural experiences to visitors.
 
The partnership also will provide to the CTO an economic analysis of Airbnb's impact on local economies. By reviewing Airbnb's aggregate data, key stakeholders will be briefed on the value of peer-to-peer review mechanisms. At the same time, Caribbean government officials and other stakeholders will learn about the long-term benefits of the sharing economy and home-sharing in particular.
 
"The CTO is establishing a basis for mutual cooperation with Airbnb," said Hugh Riley, the organization's secretary general and chief executive officer. "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."
 
Speaking for Airbnb, Shawn Sullivan, the company's public policy director for Central America and the Caribbean, said, "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 here." 
 
With this cooperation agreement, Airbnb will continue promoting tourism in the region 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.