The Jamaica Home Sharing Association was launched by Airbnb in order to improve the island’s tourism product as well as to enable more Jamaicans to become involved with the industry. Havanah Llewellyn, president of the new association, said the group will also partner with local entities to upgrade the standards of the home sharing experience for guests. In particular, Llewellyn cited Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) as a partner, and plans to use the housekeepers it trains. Llewellyn hopes to provide an environment in which Jamaica can move in a direction that allows all people to participate in the industry. The Jamaica Homesharing Association grew from discussions among individuals in the business to find ways to enhance the Airbnb experience on the island, said Llewellyn.
Shere-Ann Anderson, the association vice-president, said that homesharing offers cultural and economic benefits to Jamaicans, and the group will provide a platform that allows hosts to share best practices for hospitality. Airbnb is providing assistance to the new association, and according to Carlos Muñoz, the head of Airbnb’s public policy for Central America and the Caribbean, the firm is hoping the association will develop strong partnerships that will benefit the country. Airbnb’s homesharing clubs are independent entities that empower communities to educate residents and community leaders about the cultural and financial benefits of homesharing. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, said the association will help more people obtain earnings from the tourist industry. By empowering individuals to monetize their costliest asset and give visitors a chance to really immerse themselves in local culture, Airbnb expands the positive effects of travel and tourism to new communities throughout Jamaica and the world, he said.