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Montego Bay, Jamaica (McKoy’s News) – Airbnb Changes Jamaica’s Community Tourism: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Airbnb has revolutionised the concept of community tourism, with Jamaica benefiting greatly from what has become a very lucrative value-added market.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for the 10th staging of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF)-sponsored Taste of Jamaica event at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on December 2, Mr. Bartlett added that more and more Jamaicans have been buying into the Airbnb concept, opening up their homes to visitors and earning money as a result.
“We recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbnb, which will be a game changer in terms of broadening the ‘stakeholdership’ in tourism in Jamaica,” Mr. Bartlett noted.
“What it does is to allow small communities that you never thought had the ability to host visitors to do so by providing accommodation and allowing for interaction within the communities,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett noted that some 55,000 visitors have come to the island so far this year through Airbnb, and where 15,000 householders have benefited by providing accommodation.
“So, what is happening now is that we are broadening the number of rooms that are available to our tourism visitors and guests in little places, and places where you would never think they would go, like Trench Town and Greenwich Town and also communities all across Jamaica,” the Minister said.
Founded in August 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone or tablet.