SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – In order to be prepared in case of an emergency and secure availability of temporary shelters to assist the community in case of a natural disaster, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) announced today that representative from the International Rescue Group (IRG) and Airbnb will be in Puerto Rico on August 6th and 7th to offer training to those interested in signing up for Airbnb’s Open Homes Program.
Through this program, now available in the Caribbean, all those registered on the platform will be able to offer temporary shelter to those who have been left homeless or rescue operation personnel at no cost during an emergency.
To offer details, two scheduled information sessions have been scheduled. These will be held at 6:30pm on Monday, August 6th in Room AE 242 of the Business Administration Faculty Building in the Mayaguez University Campus and at 6:30pm on Tuesday, August 7th at the Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de Puerto Rico located at 500 Ingeniero Antolín Nin Martínez St. in San Juan.
“The inclusion of Puerto Rico in the Open Homes program is proof of Airbnb’s commitment to collaborate with emergency and natural disaster recovery plans. From the formal launch of the alliance between PRTC and Airbnb in August 2017, its online platform has contributed over 2.7 million in room taxes to the local economy. PRTC continues working in close cooperation to bring to the Island programs and groundbreaking concepts that will strengthen our tourism industry offer as established by Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares”, stated Carla Campos Vidal, Executive Director of the PRTC.
In Puerto Rico, after Hurricane María, the need shelters for residents who lost their homes and rescue operations personnel was identified as one of the basic needs for fast response operations. Because of this learning, the Government of Puerto Rico revised its emergency management and recovery plans to make the identification of shelters a priority. The arrival of Airbnb’s Open Homes program complements existing plans as it provides an additional tool to provide accommodations alternatives when hotels are at full capacity.
“Airbnb is steadfast in ensuring our hosts be prepared for disasters, as well as guaranteeing our Open Hones program will be available to communities affected by this type of crisis”, said Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s Response and Relief Senior Manager.
"International Rescue Group is proud to join the largest online marketplace and hospitality service in the world in providing shelter to Caribbean residents and rescue operations personnel after hurricanes and other regional disasters. Even though Open Homes has just started in the region our goal is to include hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts and we invite all those interested to sign-up for this powerful initiative”, said the IRG Housing Director, Carol Greenhouse.
The information sessions on Airbnb’s Open Homes will be held next week in Mayagüez and San Juan have limited spaces and registration is required. Those interested can sign-up at:
· Mayagüez, Puerto Rico – August 6 at 6:30pm
· San Juan, Puerto Rico – August 7 at 6:30pm
About Open Homes: Since 2012, the hosts of Airbnb community have offered temporary shelter at no cost to thousands of persons who have been left without their homes due to natural disasters, conflicts, and other unforeseen situations. Find out more at airbnb.com/openhomes.