There are more than 100 Airbnb hosts throughout the British Virgin Islands, making home sharing a thriving component within the local tourism sector.
Airbnb continues to deepen its roots in the Caribbean, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to collaborate on areas of common interest. This strategic partnership aims to drive local, authentic, and sustainable tourism to the islands, democratize the tourism economy, and directly benefit Virgin Islanders.
The British Virgin Islands is the latest Caribbean destination to formalize an agreement with Airbnb, with 16 collaboration or voluntary tax collection agreements signed within the last two years.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, the British Virgin Islands’ Director of Tourism Mrs. Sharon Flax Brutus said, “We are pleased to be a formal part of the Airbnb network. We think Airbnb properties present a fabulous opportunity for home share guests to be able to experience authentic British Virgin Islands culture and lifestyle.”
Airbnb plays an increasingly important role in BVI’s tourism sector with over 100 hosts throughout the archipelagic nation earning substantial annual receipts. This income helps support families and strengthen the local economy.
“Airbnb is proud to partner with the BVI Tourist Board to diversify the local tourism product through home sharing,” stated Carlos Munoz, Campaign Manager, Public Policy and Communications for the Caribbean and Central America. “This partnership will help to strengthen tourism development, one of the nation’s largest economic sectors, and generate economic opportunity throughout the islands.”
Over 2,000 guests booked accommodation through Airbnb between July 2017 and July 2018, with an average stay of four days. The income generated by these visits stays in the local economy, helping Virgin Islanders rebuild after the catastrophic 2017 hurricane season that crippled the islands and accounted for more than $3.6 billion in damages.
Supporting communities during tough times is a commitment Airbnb has made and kept in countries throughout the region. Through this partnership with BVI, Airbnb will explore providing support through multiple initiatives, including Airbnb’s Open Homes Program.
As for the future of tourism in BVI, this strategic partnership between Airbnb and BVI provides an enormous opportunity to expand the economic, cultural and environmental value that the tourism sector can bring.
Airbnb will continue to collaborate with governments in the region to support healthy tourism growth through destination marketing and inclusive, sustainable tourism initiatives that democratize the tourism product and empower locals.
About Airbnb Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 5+ million unique places to stay in more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests through 15,000 unique, handcrafted activities run by hosts across 1,000+ markets around the world. Airbnb’s people-to-people platform benefits all its stakeholders, including hosts, guests, employees and the communities in which it operates.
About the British Virgin Islands Known as a treasured destination rich in undiscovered experiences, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an alluring archipelago comprising 60 islands and cays located 80 kilometers (60 miles) east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke have attracted travelers globally with their cultural Caribbean authenticity. Located in Tortola, Road Town is the BVI’s capital. Ranked #1 Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean by U.S. News for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018, the BVI is where nature’s best secrets are kept with an abundance of pristine beaches, azure seas, towering sage mountains and burnt- orange sunsets. It’s no wonder the BVI’s Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke were featured on the “Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas” list in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017 and 2018. Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency. The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the tropical mystique of the country’s unparalleled and enriching offerings. For more information, visit www.bvitourism.com.