THE VALLEY, Anguilla — The government of Anguilla and Airbnb have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that seeks to promote the island as a premier Caribbean destination, not only for its world class beaches, crystalline waters, top class resorts and restaurants, but also for the unique experience of being part of Anguilla’s identity, cultural heritage and environment.
This partnership will also create a framework that opens a dialogue between the government of Anguilla and Airbnb to discuss topical industry matters, including marketing and regulation.
On signing the agreement, Anguilla’s chief minister and minister of tourism, Victor Banks, said, “The signing of the agreement with Airbnb will have the effect of affording Anguillians of all walks of life an opportunity to be involved in the tourism accommodation sector, giving credence to the oft touted statement: Tourism is Everybody’s Business. Airbnb represents a new trend in the delivery of tourism experiences to a wide range of international and regional travellers and creates a platform to promote Anguilla as a destination of choice for varied and new types of travel experiences.”
Chairperson of the Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) Donna Banks noted, “The Anguilla Tourist Board has as one of its core areas of responsibility the right to ensure that accommodations and services offered to guests as part of our tourism product, meet any standards set for the industry and do not compromise the integrity of Brand Anguilla. The ATB is pleased that the ministry of tourism has taken the leadership role in entering into this MOU with Airbnb to regulate the operations of this segment of the market.”
With this partnership, Airbnb will work together with Anguilla’s government to increase visitors to the island and create new jobs. Data reported in 2010 by the ATB stated that the tourism industry represented over two-fifths (41%) of total employment, and is a major asset to the island’s economy.
According to Cardigan Connor, parliamentary secretary in the ministry of tourism, “This agreement opens up the lines of communication between the government and Airbnb, to better meet the needs of visitors on a global scale, and drive the economic impact of tourism across the island. Our goal is to expand our tourism industry, increasing arrivals and enhancing overall tourism revenues.”
President of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association (AHTA) Delroy Lake said, “The AHTA embraces this new opportunity to reach new consumers and develop a win-win partnership with Airbnb.”
Airbnb plays a significant role in Anguilla’s economy with over 300 listings across the island; a typical host earns US$4,400 per year. Wednesday’s agreement brings new opportunities to grow and strengthen the economy overall. Airbnb’s strategy focuses on the balance with Anguillian citizens and tourists; it will keep promoting tourism and will work to highlight Anguilla’s history and culture.
Over the course of the last few months, Airbnb has signed a series of innovative and very promising partnerships with countries in the Caribbean, which set a great environment for improving tourism in the region.