Philipsburg, St. Maarten, 3 May 2019 - Today, 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.
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 6+ 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 25,000 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 Sint Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT)
Sint Maarten has a long history of being one of the Caribbean's top tourism destinations. This success has been primarily due to the unique concept of being "two countries in one, twice the vacation and fun,” exquisite cuisine, beautiful beaches and magnificent scenery. The Ministry of TEATT is the largest of seven government ministries, which manage the daily administration and operation of the island. The Ministry of TEATT is responsible for the economic sustainability of St. Maarten. To function effectively in service to the people, the Ministry has several departments such as the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, which directly promotes the destination in collaboration with key public partners. The Ministry of Economic Affairs researches and provides statistical data and the policy framework for protecting and improving the island's economy, while the Bureau of Telecommunication and Post oversees telecommunication legislation and monitors industry players. Air and Sea Transport is managed by the Department of Civil Aviation, Shipping and Maritime. Each department head reports to the Secretary-General for the Ministry of TEATT who reports to the responsible Minister.