Airbnb has focused on developing experiences across the islands of The Bahamas and not simply in New Providence, Airbnb Public Policy Associate for the Caribbean and Central America Chloe Burke told the media yesterday following the launch of the company’s High School Tourism Education Initiative with the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Burke said while experiences have been growing across The Bahamas, there have been some processes such as identification verification that need to be streamlined in order to jumpstart some pending experiences.
She explained that after Airbnb held a workshop on cooking experiences, many more have come into the pipeline.
“We’re really focused on quality products and products that actually get booked,” Burke said.
“So we’ve seen some progress throughout the out islands, not only New Providence, but really the Family Islands as well and so we’re committed to making sure that that continues to develop and making sure that we have offerings for all of our guests.”
The company is hoping to ensure younger Bahamians understand what Airbnb does and how they can participate in the shared economy.
Yesterday, Airbnb, BHTA and MOE held a panel discussion at C.C. Sweeting High School to help students to understand the company and what it does.
“The goal here was really to ensure that students feel empowered and understand that there is a place for them both in travel and tech and really provide exposure,” Burke said.
“And even beyond that, us at Airbnb are definitely committed to The Bahamas and committed to our diverse set of stakeholders, which includes the communities we serve and operate in and that certainly includes students in the area.
“So we’re delighted to have been here and I hope students take away insights in how they can participate in travel and tech.”
Executive Vice President of the BHTA Suzanne Pattusch urged the students to use the opportunity to understand how they can participate in Airbnb “as owners of your environment, as entrepreneurs, as well as participants in any way, shape or form”.
A press release on the High School Tourism Education Initiative explained that from March 3 to March 6, more than 250 tenth-grade through twelfth-grade tourism and hospitality students will will have the opportunity to interact with Airbnb professionals.
“We are excited to provide hundreds of students with exposure and access to the industry’s multifaceted opportunities,” Burke said in the release.
“By sharing first-hand knowledge of the various career paths available, we hope to inspire students to explore the robust opportunities this segment of industry offers.”