ST. CROIX — Airbnb agreements and tax deals are accelerating in vacation rental markets in the Caribbean, with over 10 collaboration agreements with governments in the region and lodging tax collection deals in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and, most recently, Quintana Roo, Airbnb has announced.
In May, the Mapp administration and Airbnb signed a groundbreaking agreement, which paved the way for Airbnb to collect the 12.5 percent Hotel Room Occupancy Tax on behalf of hosts and remit the funds to the V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue.
“This is good for our government because it streamlines the collection process and enables more of our citizens to participate in the visitor industry. Our hospitality sector will also greatly benefit from the promotional reach of this multibillion-dollar organization,” said Governor Kenneth Mapp.
As this movement picks up speed, more and more countries with tourism-intensive economies are choosing to embrace innovation and pave the way to diversify the sector and spread the benefits of democratized tourism revenue within their societies.
In the Caribbean and Yucatán Peninsula, Airbnb hosts have earned over US$266 million in the last twelve months, more than double the previous period, according to Airbnb. These destinations have attracted nearly 2 million guest arrivals between July 2016 and August 2017, up 170 percent from preceding twelve months.
By strengthening support for home sharing and allowing Airbnb to help users fulfill their local lodging tax obligations, these governments have set strong examples for other Latin American countries that are devoted to tourism development, Airbnb believes. A first in South America, Chile has partnered with Airbnb to assist in research travel trends through its National Productivity Commission.
Airbnb has also signaled a strong commitment to the region, with office openings in Mexico City and Buenos Aires as well as support for the government of…