Airbnb says it wants to make it easier for people to ‘take advantage of their newly enshrined flexibility’ by encouraging them to try new remote work locations. Jenny Southan reports

“Do you represent a destination that is well suited to attract the world’s growing population of remote workers? If the answer is ‘yes’, we want to hear from you,” says Airbnb.

Airbnb’s new “Live and Work Anywhere” programme seeks to promote partner destinations such as Antigua and Barbuda to digital nomads worldwide.

The company says that as flexibility becomes a permanent part of so many company cultures, Airbnb wants to make it easier for workers to take advantage of their newly enshrined flexibility by working with governments and destination marketing organisations to create a “one-stop-shop for remote workers, while helping to revive tourism and provide economic support to communities after years of travel restrictions”.

An indicator that the remote work trend is taking off, Airbnb revealed that the share of nights booked for long-term stays in Q1 2022 almost doubled compared to the same period in 2019. (In Q1 2019, almost 6 per cent of all bookings were for long-term stays, while in Q1 2022 it was almost 10 per cent.)

With support from Airbnb, select destinations will work to develop a “sustainable infrastructure” for remote workers that also “takes into consideration the existing environment and the needs and priorities of locals”.

The company says that “favourable mechanisms” for remote workers include: visa policies that facilitate remote working for travellers; keeping cost of living and affordability for remote workers front of mind; and offering free or discounted access to public transport or car rentals.

There should also be access to strong wifi (obviously), strong mobile phone service and spaces suitable for co-working.

In parallel, Airbnb will create a bespoke online landing page for the destination that will be promoted by Airbnb, in close coordination with the destination partner.

Among the first to partner with Airbnb is the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which will promote CTO member countries with digital nomad programmes across Airbnb’s global community.

A dedicated landing page provides details on the benefits of remote working in Antigua and Barbuda, and also highlights the best Airbnb accommodation to stay and work from.

Colin C James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, says: “Remote working is part of our new norm, and we are delighted that this Airbnb Campaign will allow those consumers seeking to capitalise on the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, to easily source information on the range of accommodation throughout Antigua and Barbuda to meet their needs.

Airbnb Policy Manager for Central America and the Caribbean Carlos Muñoz, says: “Airbnb is proud to partner again with the CTO in order to keep promoting different destinations in the Caribbean so people can work and travel within. This campaign is a new joint effort that will continue to help with the promotion of the wonderful region”.

Globetrender also likes the fact that Airbnb is pushing for community integration. It says: “Our partners should implement ways to help remote workers to connect with locals and immerse themselves in their destination by offering access to: a vibrant local culture; cultural immersion courses such as language, cooking, art or dance classes; and opportunities to volunteer in the local community.”