Photo: You can now enjoy the beautiful beaches of Aruba along with the home-like comfort of an Airbnb stay. (by Brian Major)
The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) announced an agreement with sharing economy hospitality provider Airbnb to “create a framework” that will ensure the firm is “in line” with Aruba’s tourism policy regarding “taxes, host accommodation standards and regulations.”
ATA officials in October approved legislation to restrict the proliferation of all-inclusive resorts on the southern Caribbean island, and hinted that additional measures to regulate the country’s hospitality industry were under consideration. The Aruba agreement also comes as Airbnb accommodations have spread widely across Caribbean vacation destinations where traditional hotels and resorts have dominated.
"As the number two most tourism-reliant nation in the world, Aruba’s continued growth relies on having a healthy balance of on-island accommodations, offering a quality of experience to our visitors, ensuring that we meet consumer expectations and demands, and making sure the benefits of the sharing economy are beneficial for the industry, community and island as a whole,” said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, ATA’s CEO.
Asjoe-Croes said Aruba-based Airbnb hosts last year received 13,000 guests. There are 1,360 Airbnb listings across Aruba and hosts typically earn $4,400 annually.
“We are excited to announce the first ever partnership between Airbnb and a Caribbean nation,” said Shawn Sullivan, Airbnb's Public Policy lead for Central America and the Caribbean.
“We will work closely with (ATA) to broaden the island’s appeal to the millions of Airbnb users who are interested in unique travel experiences,” he said. “This collaboration will give those visiting Aruba more traveling options while promoting sustainable tourism as part of the local economy.”
Added Asjoe-Croes, “Aruba embraces the shared economy and is eager to formalize the first partnership in our region with Airbnb. Together as industry leaders, we will add value to authentic travel experiences while ensuring this on-island development is managed successfully,” she said. “In this way, A.T.A. will ensure fair competition between all on-island accommodations providers."