Voices of Travel

Airbnb Confirmed for Caribbean Conference


One of the world’s best known online marketplaces for accommodation, Airbnb, has confirmed its participation in next month’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Barbados.

The home rental company’s regional manager for the Caribbean Mikel Freemon will join a panel on the sharing economy at the Sept. 14-16 conference organized by the region’s tourism development agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

“The sharing economy is a US$26 billion sector and Airbnb is one of the most successful architects of the accommodation component of this sector, disrupting the traditional hotel industry and raising concern among the incumbent firms. We are delighted to have Airbnb share its success model as we examine this hybrid market model and discuss the challenges, risks and opportunities for the Caribbean tourism sector,” said Sylma Brown, director of the CTO’s New York office.

Airbnb is a US$25.5 billion business and has served more than 60 million people since it was formed in 2008.

Freemon will be joined on the panel by Khalil Bryan, a Barbadian entrepreneur and co-founder of Caribbean Transit Solutions which provides on-demand and real time information on taxis and buses, and Frank Comito, chief executive officer of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). It will be moderated by Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s director of tourism.

This year’s conference is being held at the Hilton Barbados Resort is organized in collaboration with Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.


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