Airbnb, Caribbean tourism agency partner to ‘promote safe travel’ during

Diamond Resorts CEO Michael Flaskey on the state of the travel industry.

Airbnb is working to help the Caribbean recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The vacation rental network is partnering with the Caribbean Tourism Organization to promote “safe, responsible travel to the region,” according to a recent press release.

As a tech company, Airbnb is lending its expertise to the CTO by creating digital marketing campaigns that include email newsletters and a “Discover the Caribbean” landing page. Both methods will inform Airbnb users of the coronavirus safety measures that are in place at each CTO-affiliated country.

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At the time of publication, the Caribbean countries that are a part of the joint campaign are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Curaçao, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, St. Martin and Turks & Caicos. When Airbnb users click on a country that interests them on the landing page, they will be directed to a respective webpage that lists all the properties that can be booked through Airbnb.

Young woman sitting on the sofa and packing her backpack with protective face mask. Prepairing for a travel after the end of quarantine. New life after Pandemic COVID-19 concept. (iStock)

Current prices, COVID-19 travel protocols and a link to each country’s official tourism website are displayed on each page as well.

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Aside from highlighting select Caribbean countries, Airbnb will share travel data and trends with the CTO, so the tourism agency can “facilitate informed marketing decisions during this recovery period.”

“With the Caribbean continuing to re-open, we’re helping to usher in the safe return of travel to this wonderful region by shining a light on the many places to see and things to do,” Airbnb Policy Manager for Central America and the Caribbean Carlos Munoz said, in a statement. “We’re also excited to promote the important economic impact driven by hosting on Airbnb.”

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Before the coronavirus pandemic, various countries in the Caribbean faced economic setbacks caused by natural disasters and health scares.

In the last five years, hurricanes Irma and Maria (2017) and Dorian (2019) caused massive destruction in the Leeward Islands and Lesser Antilles. And before that, some Caribbean countries reported zika infections between 2015 and 2016, which was considered a “public health emergency” by the World Health Organization.

Various countries in the Caribbean faced economic setbacks caused by natural disasters and health scares. (iStock)

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With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Caribbean’s tourism sector has lost significant revenue from travel restrictions and suspended cruising.

A recent report from Atlantic Council has predicted that coronavirus losses will likely “set back the Latin America and the Caribbean region by at least another decade in its development.” The international affairs think-tank also went on to suggest that an additional 231 million people in both Latin America and the Caribbean will be “living in poverty by 2021” due to COVID-19.

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However, the CTO believes its partnership with Airbnb will aid the organization in rebuilding tourism in member countries.

“The partnership with Airbnb will help us to promote the region responsibly by providing our members with a platform to showcase their destinations while at the same time highlighting the health safety measures that each has implemented to ensure that visitors can enjoy a safe Caribbean experience during this time,” the CTO’s Acting Secretary-General Neil Walters said, in a statement.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends Americans refrain from non-essential travel, regardless of vaccination status.

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