Airbnb signs MoU with island of Sint Maarten

Caribbean: Airbnb has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Sint Maarten to encourage more travellers to visit the island.

The agreement placed an emphasis on highlighting ‘the friendly island’s’ rich culture, stunning scenery and welcoming locals as a way of promoting tourism to Airbnb’s vast network of travellers across the globe.

Minister for tourism Stuart Johnson said: “As a government, we are pleased to work with Airbnb to take advantage of the opportunity to create a realistic and balanced approach to improving the destination’s room inventory. Signing the MOU with Airbnb also puts the government on the path to generating increased revenue from our tourism product.

“It also allows us to further explore and capitalise on the benefits of destination marketing from a major platform such as Airbnb,” he added.

The MoU will establish a framework of mutual collaboration and cooperation around themes of mutual interest such as marketing promotion and good faith engagement.

Airbnb campaign manager for public policy and communications in the Caribbean and Central America, Carlos Munoz, said: “Sint Maarten is an important and growing destination for Airbnb.

“Today’s announcement brings new opportunities to generate sustainable growth of the local tourism industry through our collaborative efforts. Our people-to-people platform aligns with Sint Maarten’s reputation as the friendly island, economically empowering locals while they showcase all that makes Sint Maarten unforgettable,” he added.

Home-sharing is a surging industry worldwide, but it is also thriving in Sint Maarten as a source of revenue, with over 6,200 Airbnb guest arrivals last year.

Munoz said: “Sint Maarten serves as a beacon in the region, steadily rebuilding following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in September 2017. We hope, through our partnership, to support these efforts through our healthy tourism initiatives that aim to encourage environmental sustainability while empowering local people and their communities to be the primary beneficiaries of this economic growth.”

Sint Maarten is the latest in a long line of regions to formalise a partnership with Airbnb in recent times. In the last six months alone, Airbnb has partnered with the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Aruba, Curaçao and Martinique, with 17 signed agreements in the region in full thus far.

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