The Bahamas and Airbnb begin tourism promotion and policy collaboration

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb have signed an agreement to cooperate on tourism promotion, share aggregated data and start a dialogue about industry-related laws and the potential collection and remission of applicable taxes on behalf of local hosts.

“As the leading tourism authority in the country, the Ministry of Tourism acknowledges the reality of vacation home rentals, which provide alternative guest accommodations to traditional hotels. 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, a key player in the global home sharing economy,” said Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism.

The Ministry has sought out partnership with Airbnb, a key player in the global home sharing economy.

Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism

Airbnb is collaborating with an increasing number of governments in the Caribbean as the region acknowledges the growing importance of home sharing to the local economy and how home sharing democratizes tourism, spreading the benefits more widely to residents across communities rather than consolidate the benefits in highly touristed areas. This agreement with The Bahamas is our 10th in the Caribbean.

In The Bahamas, there are 1,900 active listings on the Airbnb platform and a typical host has annual earnings of about USD $6,000. The number of guest arrivals to the islands in the last 12 months has grown by 95 percent, and those visitors tend to stay about five nights.

“Traditionally, the Bahamian vacation home rentals market has been dominated by non-Bahamians; however, in today’s market we see an increasing number of Bahamians participating in this lucrative sector. Vacation home rentals is an industry that is relatively attainable for Bahamian investors when compared to the traditional hotels, and as such, can provide great entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians. There is ample evidence that the vacation home rentals market is one that is poised for growth,” Minister D’Aguilar added.