Tourism Minister Responds to Airbnb Complaints

Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy, has responded to comments made by some hoteliers that their bookings have been negatively impacted by the Airbnb phenomenon.

Airbnb is an online marketplace and homestay network, which allows people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties. Earlier this week, some hoteliers had complained to other sections of the media that “an out of control unregistered accommodation sector, would “water down” the Barbados tourism product.” However, during an address at the launch of the Barbados Sugar and Rum Season, Mr Sealy said that research shows that just 2 per cent of visitors in 2016 utilised the service.

He said, “Airbnb themselves, had the massive sum of 16,000 people who stayed in 2016 – a record year. A year that saw 632,000 people come to Barbados. So we are talking about just 2 per cent.”