BTA Signs “Major” Agreement With Airbnb

March 8, 2017 | 35 Comments

[Updated with video] The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] and Airbnb have signed a “major agreement that will help to promote Bermuda as a world-class destination for leisure, group travel and tourism investment.”

A spokesperson said, “This partnership will also create a framework that opens a dialogue between the Government of Bermuda and Airbnb to discuss topical industry matters, including marketing and regulation.

“In line with one of the main objectives of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Airbnb will share its aggregated data to be included in analysing and evaluating the tourism industry’s performance holistically.”

“Out here, Bermudians have been welcoming travellers into our homes for many decades. Partnering with an innovative brand like Airbnb enables us to build on our legacy of legendary hospitality, reach a new generation of travellers and expand opportunities for Bermudian homeowners to participate in the tourism economy,” said Kevin Dallas, Bermuda Tourism Authority’s CEO.

“With this partnership, Airbnb will continue promoting tourism and will work to highlight Bermuda’s distinct brand and genuine island life. The strategy focuses to move Bermuda’s tourism industry forward by growing visitor spending and experience, the volume of leisure and group visitors to Bermuda, and nurturing an environment for job creation.”

“Today’s agreement with Bermuda is a great example of how local authorities and the private sector can work together to achieve mutually desired goals.

“Bermuda is an important and growing market for Airbnb and we are very excited to be working with the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Bermuda Government to help grow sustainable tourism to the island.” said Airbnb’s representative for the Caribbean and Central America, Shawn Sullivan.

“Airbnb plays an increasingly important role in the Bermuda tourism industry with 257 listings already across the island and a typical host earns $14,900 USD per year. Today’s partnership brings new opportunities to grow and strengthen the Bermuda economy overall.

“Recently, Airbnb has reached a series of innovative and very promising partnerships with countries in the Caribbean, especially the recent signing of an agreement with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, which sets a great environment for boosting tourism in the region.”

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Comments (35)

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  1. San George says:

    Today’s agreement will help the Bermuda government to tax more and to increase the cost of visiting Bermuda.

    • Question? says:

      How much did this cost the Tax payers? Bermudians are already renting their homes on this site.

    • Bermyman says:

      So your saying the goal of the BTA and Govt is to discourage people from visiting Bermuda by this agreement becasue it will somehow drastically increase the costs of visiting the island?

      • Bermuda Now says:

        “you’re” saying is the proper grammar. Just saying.

    • inna says:

      And you can thank your illustrious PLP for having to tax more and increase our cost of living!

    • While thousands are still unemployed and counting.

    • Today’s agreement brings the undisputed leader in the home sharing market to the table as:

      1. A promoter of Bermuda as a destination (which is more than any individual host can do on their own), which will benefit Bermuda’s hosts, and the island in general.

      2. An educator to Bermudian homeowners on how to enroll and make best use of the platform – so that more Bermudans participate in the tourism economy.

      3. An advisor to Bermuda Tourism and the Government on how to nurture not strangle the sector.

      It does *not* commit anyone to new taxes

      • sage says:

        Hmmmm,

        1. They have agreements with other countries (CTO) and how many have listings around the world? They certainly can’t promote us exclusively or before countries that already have “major” agreements.Or will we be in the Carribean region?
        2. Seems unnecessary, since the 257 listings didn’t need an education to join up, make money and get good reviews.
        3.Our government really needs an advisor to tell them how not to strangle but nurture the sector? How about leave well enough alone, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it?

        Key word “commit”.

      • Pood Citizen says:

        Either this is an untruth or just naivety. Government alluded to this last year before your arrival; taxing those who rent to tourist (even an apartment that is part of one’s principal residence)!

        I’ll make a bet with you?

        Smiths

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        Of course it doesn’t commit anyone to new taxes, it just uses our taxes already committed just like you do Kevin.

        Have you or the OBA considered its impact on the long term rental market Kevin?

  2. cow polly says:

    Regulation? Hmmmm seems to me that the BTA and OBA want to tap into the profits of the 257+ listings who are enjoying a tax free income probably before the Americas Cup

    • Bermyman says:

      If you want to turn your house into a hotel it needs to be regulated. Just like any apartment rental is regulated in Bermuda. Air BB have to ensure quality control and one way of doing that is through regulation, there are standards in the modern world that these companies must ensure are met. Health and Safety is just one aspect.

      • Reese says:

        I agree that it should be checked for health and safety reasons and to make sure the place isn’t a crap hole. But it should be a standard fee per room not a percentage.

        Otherwise if my property is going to be regulated like a hotel and I want to import something for my AirB&B/house, like furniture or appliances, I should be getting the same benefits and customs discounts as the hotels.

      • Cow Polly says:

        People aren’t turning their houses into hotels Bermyman, just renting a room or studio or cottage to cost-conscious visitors. Didn’t seem to be an issue for AirBnB with the 257+ listings who already signed up now did it?

  3. TB40 says:

    GREAT STUFF BTA :)

  4. sage says:

    Marketing is taken care of with Airbnb website and so is regulation, bad reviews no customers. You make 14 grand a year and they want a cut yet they cap payroll tax at 950 g’s.

  5. Hope says:

    The article doesn’t appear to say what the agreement is actually for, or have I missed something? If Bermudians can already advertise on Air BnB then what has changed here? Presumably that now they will need to pay the Government a portion of their fee…

    I also saw a post today which mentioned that Air BnB’s liability policy for those renting out their homes does not apply to Bermuda…any changes expected in this regard?

    • Honeyv says:

      I’m wondering the exact same things. I’m also curious if the framework they set up will also apply to hosts/visitors on other booking sites besides airbnb.

    • Hi Hope -

      Please see above on what the agreement actually does – and please feel free to get in touch directly if it’s still unclear.

      Cheers,

      K

      • Jason says:

        How much did you pay them is the #1 question!!!!!!!!

        Now remain unclear!

  6. Decent Citizen says:

    Uncle Sam comes again!

    I guess those of us who have been using AirBnB for years are now screwed!
    I’m sure BTA will justify a fee for what we’ve been doing for years!

    If AirBnB is providing specific data to BTA on individual properties, this woud be illegal!

    Smiths

    • Bermuda Now says:

      So so true!! airbnb is already private citizen to private citizen. BTA is trying to justify their existence by getting their noses involved in this.

  7. Terry says:

    It’s gonna get ugly; mark my words.

    People trash and have more bodies there et al………………
    + taxes and some are in the system and don’t pay.

    Shalom.

  8. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    They can’t tax you if they don’t know ;)

  9. jiggs bda says:

    Well done BTA,

    It doesn’t matter how much good you do, the detractors will continue to howl.

    Let one of the critics get straddled with liability and there be no agreement in place, then what & who will they blame….

    SMH

  10. Rob says:

    anyone booking there rentals with them must be wary of thre hidden charges.
    What you charge and what they charge for your rental are extremely different.
    There are allot of hidden costs when you register with them. And your visitors will not be happy

  11. flikel says:

    How does this ‘major’ agreement help anyone? AirBnB currently has hundreds of listings, generating an average $15k for the owner.

    Aside from providing a mechanism for the Government to help collect tax revenue, how does this agreement help job creation and strengthen the Bermuda economy?

    • Kevin Dallas says:

      As part of this agreement Airbnb representatives will assist existing hosts on the platform to improve the quality of their listings.

      They will work with us on the island to help more homeowners sign up.

      And they will provide opportunities to market Bermuda as a destination through their channels.

      All of these things will benefit homeowners and the economy.

      And for the first time we’ll be able to measure the impact because they will share aggregate (not individual) data with us.

  12. Decent Citizen says:

    Uncle Sam comes again!

    I guess those of us who have been using AirBnB for years are now screwed!
    I’m sure BTA will justify a fee for what we’ve been doing for years!

    If AirBnB is providing specific data to BTA on individual properties, this woud be a problem!

    Smiths

  13. Janice says:

    The OBA is eclipsing anything the unprogressive whining anti equality party could do or ever did for this country , given time they will also ffix the debt they left us with their shennagins

    • 2017 Swing Voter says:

      Yes with a solar eclipse! Which occurs when the moon gets between Earth and the sun, and the moon casts a shadow over Earth :) That’s why Bermuda is so dam cold now days.

  14. Jonathan Land Evans says:

    It would be interesting to know whether the Office of the Tax Commissioner regards the renting-out of a room or an apartment or other property to a stream of short-stay visitors as constituting a business activity/self-employment by the property owner, thus triggering an obligation to file a quarterly Payroll Tax return and pay tax on the earnings as a self-employed person.

  15. mark says:

    I think this agreement allows the govt to tax the renter when they book a bermudian airbnb. It will not increase costs for the home owner. A new source if tax income that doesnt affect bermudians is a good thing no?

  16. Chris Famous says:

    Kevin Dallas is not telling the truth. BTA was due to be self funding after 3 years

    They have failed to be self sufficient.

    Hence now they are looking to get in peoples pockets.

  17. Rick Olson says:

    No one wants to be taxed but the burden needs to be shared and remember there will be properties that collect a 15,000 a week over America’s cup.

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