By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Bahamas has become the latest Caribbean tourism destination to sign a high-profile agreement with home-sharing giant Airbnb.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding this week focusing on areas like the sharing of aggregate Airbnb Bahamas data, provision of information to Airbnb on Bahamian laws and the exploration of Airbnb’s collection and remittance of applicable taxes.
“In acknowledging this reality and seeking to manage and shape it for the benefit of all stakeholders involved, the Ministry has sought out partnership with Airbnb Inc., a key player in the global home sharing economy,” said Bahamas Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.
There are currently around 1,900 listings on Airbnb’s platform, with the average Airbnb host earning around $6,000 per year, according to Airbnb.
The average Airbnb guest in the Bahamas stays for 4.6 nights, according to the data.
“When we consider the entire home-sharing market in The Bahamas, the actual numbers of operators of vacation home rentals are much higher, taking into account that Airbnb is not the only booking website that hosts use,” D’Aguilar said.
The Bahamas is currently crafting new legislation to regulate the home-sharing sector, the Minister said, aimed at clarifying many of the “murky issues now plaguing this sector.”
“It will set the standards and best practices to facilitate the sector in preserving the reputation of our destination brand,” he said. “In short, the new legislation will put in place a modern regulatory framework within which vacation home rentals can operate as an integral part of our tourism sector.”