It sounds almost too good to be true. AirBnB is planning on sending five people to the Bahamas for free – but it says this is no holiday.
How does a few months in the Bahamas sound?
Well, Airbnb is giving a few people a chance to spend a two-month sabbatical in the Bahamas in an attempt to boost the Caribbean island damaged last year by Hurricane Dorian.
At least 67 people were killed and more than $US3.4 billion ($A5 billion) in damage was caused when Hurricane Dorian swept through the country’s hundreds of islands in October 2019.
The offer gives five people the chance to visit the three islands within the Bahamas that were not affected by the storm: Andros, Eleuthera and Exumas.
There, those selected will work on projects for two months, including coral reef restoration, pineapple farming, boat building and more, with the Bahamas National Trust.
But organisers say this isn’t simply a holiday for two months from April until May.
During their time on the island, participants will be working alongside an underwater photographer to help restore coral reefs while also learning about invasive species and traditional pineapple farming.
The overall goal of the project is to stimulate the country’s economy by showing off areas like the Leon Levy Native Plant Reserve, North Marine Park, and Eleuthera’s pink sand beaches – as well as AirBnB’s range of “experiences”.
The trust’s executive director, Eric Carey, says the country is “open for business”, and the sabbatical is a way to “share our diverse country and the Bahamian way of life with the world”.
Airbnb has offered other sabbaticals previously to promote the environment, including trips to Italy and Antarctica. But this will be the first of its kind in 2020.
The contest is open to residents (aged 18 years or older) from nearly three dozen countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Germany and the United States.
The five winners will be announced on March 25, 2020.
– with AP