Short-term rental company Airbnb announced it is partnering with Discover Puerto Rico through a program to market the island by promoting local tourism.
Puerto Rico is one of nine destinations worldwide to participate in the first strategic alliances, and one of two in the Caribbean, said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean.
“We often receive partnership opportunities that we assess based on the opportunity for consumer visibility and net positive impact to the visitor economy in Puerto Rico,” Dean said.
“Most recently, Airbnb selected Discover Puerto Rico to join their first-ever destination partnership program. Discover Puerto Rico will be the one of the two Caribbean destinations among other destinations like South Africa, Denmark, Florida and Brazil, to launch this new initiative,” he added.
Through this partnership, Discover Puerto Rico will leverage Airbnb’s online platform and content channels, develop a destination homepage within the Airbnb site, and access unique travel data and insights, he said.
“Airbnb’s new partnership model is a timely effort to strengthen and expand partnerships with destination marketers as we all emerge from the worst travel crisis in history,” Dean said.
“For destinations like Puerto Rico, they have quickly become a huge part of the visitor economy, so aligning with those responsible for managing the destination brand is a savvy move,” he added.
Short-term rentals have contributed to significant tourism growth in recent years in Puerto Rico. The usage of short-term rentals increased 91.5% in 2019, accounting for nearly 30% of all lodging on the island, with more than 13,000 units, a 135% increase from three years ago, Dean confirmed.
“Airbnb has played an important role in the evolution of our lodging product, not only offering travelers unique and personalized experiences across the entire island, but also providing hosts the opportunity to generate meaningful income, contributing to local communities and their economy,” he added.
Among the first strategic alliances Airbnb has established around the world are: Discover Puerto Rico; National Park Foundation; Visit Florida s; Visit Denmark; French Association of Rural Mayors; Hadong-Gun in South Korea; Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism of Zhejiang, China; Bermuda Tourism Authority; and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Aviation.
Dean said one advantage of the Airbnb partnership may be to open new lines of communications with property owners to get feedback about the guest experience.