My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb Bread and Breakfast will benefit Milk River by 2021


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb Bread and Breakfast will benefit Milk River by 2021

“We are very happy to be partnering with Airbnb and know that it will be mutually beneficial to both entities involved. Once drafted, I know that the agreement will take into account our goal of destination assurance, which ensures our credibility in the marketplace. It will also allow us to utilise analytics across their social platforms. This will be a great tool for us to build a better collective resource management platform for our destination,”

Minister of Ministry of Tourism Edmund Bartlett on their partnership with Airbnb to market the Bnb (Bread and Breakfast) Industry

The Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb have decided to make peace...sort of!

They've recently signed a major agreement that will see the Bnb (Bread and Breakfast) Industry expanding in Jamaica as reported in the article “Jamaica to sign major agreement with Airbnb”, published Monday, November 14, 2016, The Jamaica Observer

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It seems the Ministry of Tourism has signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) as it relates to the issue of taxation as was raised by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett in June 2016 as noted in the article “Tourism Ministry Seeking To Collect Taxes From Airbnb Users”, Published Friday June 24, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Airbnb is a huge BnB (Bread and Breakfast) website connecting some 34,000 cities and 191 countries who can book a Bnb via mobile phone or tablet. Airbnb makes it super-easy for anyone to monetize unique historical locations and yes, even your couch, once someone famous slept in it, as their website gets millions of hits each month.

Already Airbnb has a lot of Jamaicans actively using their website since 2015:

1.      2,300 active hosts
2.      4,000 active listings
3.      32,000 tourists 

Airbnb’s executive with responsibility for public policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, Shawn Sullivan, pointed out that Airbnb and Jamaica was a match made in BnB heaven with benefits for Jamaica, quote: “Generally in the Caribbean, people will rent their entire homes. Here in Jamaica, we are seeing a mixture between private homes versus a private space in someone’s home. We were responsible for bringing in roughly 32,000 tourists within the past year and we believe that this collaboration will allow this to grow exponentially”.

So who in Jamaica is using Airbnb?  And how can it benefit the Ministry of Tourism?

Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb – Match made in Bread and Breakfast Heaven for Milk River

Many Jamaicans, especially in the Trench Town area where American are interested in troddin’ in the footsteps of Reggae Artiste Bob Marley are using the website to make foreign dollars as noted in my blog article entitled “How Ministry of Tourism over-reacting to 1000 Jamaicans on Airbnb as Trench Town Rocks”. 

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The process for any Jamaican to make money from offering even their couch for the night and a good meal of fry dumplin, plantain and cerasse tea to American tourists is explained in detailed in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can make money from Airbnb”.

They may also be trying to use Airbnb to jumpstart visitor arrival to off-the-beaten-path locations that have small hotels that are registered to the JTB (Jamaica Tourism Board) such as Milk River Bath and Spa in Milk River, Clarendon, which is currently under renovation as noted in my blog article entitled “200 Acre Milk River Hotel & Spa Developement - How Future Plans for Milk River Residents means South Coast Developement coming”.

So it would make sense that the Ministry of Tourism not only take advantage of their services and use it to promote the fledgling BnB business in Jamaica. And please, go easy on the taxation as it will help the JLP to win the General Election come 2021 if they can be seen as empowering Jamaicans to create their own wealth!

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