The Caribbean, a region made up of over 30 countries and territories, is known for being a prime international tourist destination, however more locals have started to travel around the CTO countries thanks to Airbnb. The platform shared during the CTO’s Caribbean Week in New York City that local nights booked on Airbnb within CTO member countries almost doubled during the first quarter of 2023.
The platform shared that the CTO countries with the highest growth of domestic nights booked were: Antigua & Barbuda, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, The Bahamas and Barbados.
International travelers still represent the majority of guests arriving to the Caribbean, however Airbnb also highlighted a new trend in the Caribbean region, the nearby interisland traveling. On Airbnb, the share of nights booked between islands of the CTO compared to the total nights booked nearly doubled during the same period, indicating new economic opportunities for the region.
“I welcome this news as homesharing opportunities have been a gamechanger with respect to enabling the benefits of tourism to be more evenly spread throughout our communities”, indicated Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman.
“I am very pleased that destinations in the region are benefitting from their affiliation with Airbnb, particularly in the domestic context. The CTOs ongoing efforts to improve regional connectivity will further enhance the economic, social and cultural benefits of homesharing by making domestic travel easier and more convenient”, he added.
Airbnb Economic Impact
The benefits of Airbnb go beyond the income of Hosts. Based on Airbnb information, in 2022, 81% of Hosts part of the CTO who gave recommendations of local attractions to their guests, such as restaurants and shops, recommended places in the neighborhoods where their listings are located.
The sector is rebuilding from pandemic impacts and Oxford Economics’ forecast anticipates visitor spending in Latin America and the Caribbean will approach $500 US billion in 2025 ($492.6 US billion), over 16 percent above its pre-pandemic level.
Early this year, Airbnb announced the recipients of the 2022 Airbnb Community Fund grant. In 2022, the program focused primarily on sustainability, with more than USD$6 million in grants awarded to more than 20 organizations working to protect our planet and promote sustainability and environmental conservation, in 19 countries on six continents, including Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Global Tourism Resilience Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) in Jamaica received $250,000. The GTRCMC project will benefit Jamaica, Barbados and Grenada to help raise awareness among Caribbean Micro, Small and Medium Sized Tourism Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) about the importance of climate-responsible practices in their operations, as well as encouraging them to take urgent action to combat climate change.