Minister Furbert: Rights For Residence Owners

November 8, 2012

Giving residency rights to owners of hotel residences will strengthen our appeal for tourism related investments, Minister of Business Development and Tourism Wayne Furbert said today [Nov 8].

The Minister said prior to this initiative owners of tourism units have only been allowed to stay on the island for up to 90 days at a time, and the restriction was obstacle as far as development financing and hotel development.

Minister Furbert said: “We need to continually reinvest in the product to encourage revival and reinvigorate the industry. One such product is Residency Rights for the owners of Hotel Residences.

“Like many other tourism destinations Bermuda has reviewed many initiatives that encourage investment and tourism development. One of these initiatives is mixed-use hotel development products which combine tourism and commercial retail on the same site. This lends to a diverse flow of investment from the difference uses.

“There is a market of wealthy individuals who invest in this type of products as a second, or third – and in some cases – a fourth or fifth home. Many of them are baby boomers and wealthy young people with affluent lifestyles.”

“This government has taken the step to allow residency rights for the owners of Hotel Residences.To expand: The change in policy will permit owners of freehold and leasehold tourism zoned units to reside in Bermuda provided they retain ownership of the unit. So… to be clear… as long as they own the unit, they will be able to reside in Bermuda.”

Minister Furbert’s full statement follows below:

Let me say from the outset – I am committed to continuing the revival of our tourism product as well as our international business sector.

As was recently reported by the Department of Statistics, Employment directly related to tourism increased 15 per cent during 2011. 72% of those people were Bermudian.

All indicators are showing that 2013 will be a good year for tourism. As reported British Airways booking are 36% ahead of last year this time.

Bermuda Hotel Association has reported that Hotels Ended the month of October 2012, 4% higher than the previous year.

The Pacing report by the Bermuda Hotel Association also reveals that hotels are pacing ahead by 3% for the next six months. Starting the New Year January is pacing up 23% and February is 18%

Our important secondary market of the UK is also trending significantly up for the next several months.

I am convinced that our Plan is working. But we cannot stop there.

We need to continually reinvest in the product to encourage revival and reinvigorate the industry. One such product is Residency Rights for the owners of Hotel Residences.

Like many other tourism destinations Bermuda has reviewed many initiatives that encourage investment and tourism development. One of these initiatives is mixed-use hotel development products which combine tourism and commercial retail on the same site. This lends to a diverse flow of investment from the difference uses.

“Hotel residences” can include condo hotel units, residence clubs and hotel villas.

There is a market of wealthy individuals who invest in this type of products as a second, or third – and in some cases – a fourth or fifth home. Many of them are baby boomers and wealthy young people with affluent lifestyles.

Prior to this initiative, despite paying out considerable sums of money, owners of tourism units in Bermuda have only been allowed to stay on the island for up to a maximum of ninety days at a time – the same length of stay applicable to any visitor. This restriction has proven to be an obstacle for the sourcing of development financing and has been a significant factor stymieing hotel development.

This government has taken the step to allow residency rights for the owners of Hotel Residences.

To expand: The change in policy will permit owners of freehold and leasehold tourism zoned units to reside in Bermuda provided they retain ownership of the unit. So… to be clear… as long as they own the unit, they will be able to reside in Bermuda.

This policy augmentation is one of this Government’s first steps in implementing the Global Governance Programme of the National Tourism Plan. We will continue to introduce policies that create an attractive environment in order to increase investment in tourism infrastructure and also to promote hotel development through programmes like the soon to come Tourism Development Act.

We believe that we are on the right road to recovery. Local hoteliers have already reported to me their pleasure in learning of this development. Mr. John Jefferis has stated that the new policy will enable him to proceed with his development, starting with a model condo unit. The Unit will be 3,500 sq. ft. with its own pool, terraces, gym, custom marble and gold bathrooms, office and gourmet kitchen, all over looking one of the most magnificent beaches in the world.

This policy will not only assist in strengthening our appeal as a great place for tourism related investments but also lends significant support to our goal of becoming a vibrant year round tourism destination.

Thank you!

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Comments (5)

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  1. terry says:

    Don't even have to read nor read further.
    First sentetance speaks volumes.

    Come on.
    If 15 people.....

    Camel dunn anyoneone?

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  2. street wise says:

    Wayne... the earliest 'baby boomers' are now 62 years old.

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  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Trying to catch up with the Bahamas are we???

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  4. Y-Gurl says:

    Wayne if this is all you do and are so bad at it...don't you think it's time to move on?

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  5. OMG says:

    Oh I cannot wait till the Taxi operators get started on this "new" idea!!!

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