International online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb has committed approximately $8.3 million to the Government towards the staging of the UNWTO, GOJ, World Bank Group Conference to be held in Jamaica in November.
This makes the mega-technology company the first platinum sponsor for the conference on jobs and inclusive growth, “Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism” scheduled for November 27-29, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, in welcoming the sponsorship said that it will strengthen the projected impact of the conference on the future of Jamaica's tourism sector.
“This conference will not only be the single-biggest international tourism event ever held on local soil, but is also going to be one of the most important events to be held in the country's history,” Bartlett said.
“I am so happy to have Airbnb on board, and I look forward to working with them on a number of different projects which, I am certain, will benefit the people of Jamaica in the near future,” he added.
Airbnb's Regional Director for Central America and the Caribbean Shawn Sullivan gave confirmation of the commitment during a meeting with the minister at his company's California headquarters on August 23.
“It was another step in us solidifying and making more prominent, our relationship with the Government of Jamaica. Airbnb sees Jamaica as a premier destination in the Caribbean and in the world,” Sullivan said.
Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world online. It connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries.
The Ministry of Tourism says that the market for Airbnb in Jamaica is rapidly growing, and is extremely lucrative. Their website currently boasts thousands of active hosts and active listings locally.
Jamaica also welcomed upwards of 32,000 visitors via Airbnb last year, benefiting many communities across the island, including Trench Town in Kingston, and generating income for many homeowners.
The minister is currently in California, where he is also expected to engage in meetings with American technology mega-companies Google, LinkedIn Corporation and Uber Technologies Inc.
The meetings are in tandem with two of the five strategic pillars of the ministry — building new products and fostering new partnerships. These meetings will also be used to promote the UNWTO/World Bank Group Conference.