PHOTO: Sandy Island beach, Anguilla. (Photo by Rosalind Cummings-Yeates)
The Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) announced Wednesday that the island's government and Airbnb have agreed to work together to promote the British territory as one of the Caribbean's top destinations in a partnership designed to boost visitor numbers and create jobs.
The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding, opening up dialogue on a variety of issues, including marketing and regulation.
The home-sharing platform has already thrived in Anguilla and plays a pivotal role in the island's economy. There are currently more than 300 listings across the island, and a typical Airbnb host in Anguilla earns $4,400 annually.
Overall, Anguilla's tourism industry is a key driver for the local economy, accounting for 41 percent of total employment as of 2010, according to data from the ATB.
In a statement accompanying Wednesday's announcement, Anguilla's Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism Victor Banks said the partnership, "will have the effect of affording Anguillians of all walks of life an opportunity to be involved in the tourism accommodation sector."
"Airbnb represents a new trend in the delivery of tourism experiences to a wide range of international and regional travelers and creates a platform to promote Anguilla as a destination of choice for varied and new types of travel experiences."
In addition to promoting Anguilla's world-class beaches, Airbnb will highlight the island's history and culture.
"This agreement opens up the lines of communication between the Government and Airbnb, to better meet the needs of visitors on a global scale, and drive the economic impact of tourism across the island," said Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Cardigan Conner in a statement.
READ MORE: 2016 Brought Strong Visitor Growth for Tiny Anguilla
"Our goal is to expand our tourism industry, increasing arrivals and enhancing overall tourism revenues."
Airbnb also announced this week that it will expand its presence in China in hopes of capitalizing on the significant potential in the booming Asian market. As Airbnb takes aim at becoming a full-service travel company, it also recently purchased Montreal-based luxury vacation rental service Luxury Retreats in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $300 million.
Less than two weeks ago, it was reported the San Francisco-based company is worth more than $31 billion.