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Airbnb spurs Jamaica’s homeshare market

Published:Friday | May 3, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett makes his presentation in the Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, April 30.

Jamaica’s homeshare market grew by two-thirds in 2018.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett reported to Parliament on Tuesday that home stays booked through Airbnb grew 62 per cent, from 55,000 to 89,500 guests.

Airbnb is the online vacation site which gives visitors the option to rent rooms and homes from private citizens, as opposed to hotels.

The average stay was about five days, while the typical host in Jamaica earned revenues of up to US$2,600 in 2018, the minister said.

Bartlett also reported a near 11-point spike in retention of the tourism dollar, from 30 per cent to 40.8 per cent. It means that for every dollar spent in the tourism sector, the Jamaican economy retains 40.8 cents.

It puts Jamaica second in the line-up of Caribbean markets behind Dominican Republic, which has a retention rate of 50 per cent, according to World Travel & Tourism Council data. The Caribbean, on average, has a retention rate of 10-30 per cent.