PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN - The Government of Sint Maarten and Airbnb signed a memorandum of understanding to promote tourism to the island, spotlighting ‘the friendly island’s’ rich culture, stunning scenery and warm, welcoming locals to Airbnb’s vast community of travelers worldwide.
"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,” stated Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Stuart Johnson. “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," said Johnson.
This MOU establishes a framework of mutual collaboration and cooperation on areas of common interest; including marketing promotion and good faith engagement.
“St. 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 St. Maarten’s reputation as the friendly island, economically empowering locals while they showcase all that makes St. Maarten unforgettable” said Carlos Munoz, Airbnb Campaign Manager for Public Policy and Communications in the Caribbean and Central America.
With more than 6,200 Airbnb guest arrivals in St. Maarten in 2018, home sharing continues to thrive as a healthy addition to the local tourism sector. These travelers were accommodated by hosts who opened their doors to offer locals and foreigners alike a diverse, inclusive and sustainable travel experience.
“St. Maarten serves as a beacon in the region, steadily rebuilding following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in September 2017,” stated Munoz. “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.”
St. Maarten is the most recent island in the region to formalize a partnership with Airbnb. In the last six months, Airbnb has collaborated with The British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Aruba, Curaçao and Martinique, with 17 signed agreements in the region.
Airbnb will continue to work with governments to help stimulate inclusive, sustainable tourism throughout the Caribbean.