The traditional Caribbean resort model is expense and overtaxed. In context, that is no surprise. Tourists do not vote; taxes are seldom a consideration when booking a holiday destination. And while superb beaches may compensate for the surprise-on-arrival, tourists are now looking beyond standard amenities and using peer-to-peer platforms such as Airbnb for a more favorable accommodation and travel experience. Growing inroads of these platforms—there are many with niche segments—begs a range of issues, not unlike those seen elsewhere around the world. The difference in the Caribbean, however, is the potential scope of hospitality-sector undercutting, if not fiscal debasement. Tourism-development authorities may need to be less concerned about Cuba and more focused on Airbnb. ■
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Image shows panorama of English Harbour, Antigua. Credit: Jacklyric at Can Stock Photo Inc.