Bermuda’s Vacation Rental Market Under Review

January 15, 2015

The Bermuda Tourism Authority is writing a White Paper on the Island’s vacation rental market and wants to hear the public’s input, starting with a discussion on the topic at a Bermuda Tourism Summit next week.

The BTA said, “A BTA working group has been studying the issue for months and is preparing a presentation for summit attendees. The presentation, called Bermuda and the Growing Vacation Rental Market, will speak to the increasing popularity of, and demand for, private vacation rentals in Bermuda and around the world, as well as the impact vacation rentals are having on the Island’s tourism product. The session will also look at best practices in other jurisdictions and examine potential money-earning opportunities for local homeowners.

“Following the summit the presentation will be available on the Tourism Authority’s corporate website and interested parties can email their feedback to the BTA’s Vacation Rentals Working Group.”

“If current trends are any indication, the demand for vacation rentals will steadily increase around the world, and by extension, in Bermuda,” said the BTA’s Chief Operations Officer Karla Lacey, who is overseeing the preparation of the White Paper on Vacation Rentals.

“We want to ensure the Bermuda Tourism product and Bermuda homeowners are properly positioned to benefit from the growth of this market segment. An important part of establishing that position is to listen to hoteliers, homeowners, realtors, legislators and other stakeholders to assess their viewpoints. For those not present at the summit we encourage them to review the material we publish and submit their thoughts via email.”

Members of the BTA’s Research & Business Intelligence, Sales & Marketing, Product & Experiences and Operations divisions are represented among the group studying the issue. To date the group has held preliminary discussions with government hotel inspectors, fire safety officials and a small number of vacation rental market stakeholders. Input from those relevant parties as well as feedback from the public will be included in the White Paper.

Upon its completion the BTA will present the White Paper to the Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport where officials will review whether current legislation is sufficient, should be amended or whether new legislation should be drafted.

The Bermuda Tourism Summit 2015 will take place at Fairmont Southampton from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Pre-registration is required and the full agenda is available on the BTA corporate website. Because of capacity issues, only tourism industry professionals are invited to attend.

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Comments (12)

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  1. San George says:

    The government would only look at this as a target for taxation. Too many civil servants. Stimulation of the economy will come from private business people like this. Don’t let the government and the civil service kill this sector with regulation, taxation and red tape.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  2. MB says:

    I think that it is 100% unfair that Tourism designated hotel properties must pay huge taxes while homeowners who benefit from Tourism marketing and infrastructure and have taken their properties off the market to rent short term to vistors pay no Tourism taxes. They should pay as well! This has been going on for years … so much lost revenue!!!

    • aceboy says:

      We do pay taxes, if the number of occupants per unit is greater than 6. The huge taxes you say the hotels pay are in fact passed on to the guests.

    • Kindley says:

      Thank goodness for the Vacation Rentals. They allow the “not so rich” to visit and enjoy your beautiful island. Not everyone can afford to stay at the expensive hotels.

      I can’t for the life of me understand why the government dose not see this. A nice affordable hotel in St. George’s would be wonderful for the east end. No need to have a gambling.

    • Jonathan Dill says:

      Also the BTA effectively functions as a marketing department for the major hotels so I have no sympathy. Scrap the hotel tax for everyone.

  3. Family Man says:

    They’re going to want to regulate every rental to a tourist. (For safety and quality of course :/sarcasm off).

    Once its regulated they’ll need to tax it. To pay for the regulation expense of course.

    Empire building at its best.

  4. Jeremy Deacon says:

    as well as rentals, would it be worth setting up a house swap
    section of a website ?
    it would allow locals to holiday and increase spending power of visitors?

  5. aceboy says:

    Leave the market to market forces. Overregulation will kill the potential business for home owners. Meddle with this at your PERIL BTA.

  6. aceboy says:

    Just an fyi, IF anyone from the BTA read this: The tourists who rent through the Air B&B, or any of the other sites, are EXTREMELY price sensitive. A swing of $10 per night will cause them to choose another location. If the taxes you may want to impose get passed on to the consumer then we could once again price ourselves OUT of a market. Right now we are starting to build and momentum is being gained in this type of niche tourism. PLEASE do not mess it up. You don’t need to regulate us. This is something we do. We are Bermudians, let us be.

    • Rick Olson says:

      Gov. Get tax via land tax on all properties so they be careful not to be heavy handed. This same discussion is going on in other destinations as well so we should pay attention .

  7. Sickofantz says:

    Bet these people buy way more and eat out more than cruise ship people. If I waere representing taxi drivers I would be completely behind vacation rentals as most of them cannot drive here.

  8. #JustKillOffBermudasTourismProductNow says:

    I pray that this summit is not held to add further roadblocks to an already struggling tourism economy in Bermuda. I hope that the powers that be do not tax VACATION RENTAL PROPERTIES that accommodate up to 5 tourists. This is the last and only hope for the budget conscious travelers. Because we don’t have budget hotels. We need to be able to have a diverse tourism product and prices. If we tax landlords for hosting tourist at their properties, it will decrease the amount of properties available for this type of traveler. It also takes away from giving that kind of tourist the ‘truly local’ experience that some yearn for. What we need in Bermuda is less red tape, and more relaxation of rules. While there may be concessions for the big fancy corporate hotels, none exists for vacation rentals. We should be encouraging people to put tourists up for a more local experience and without fear of taxation or penalties. BTA and GOVERNMENT roll down your socks, get your hands dirty and stop with the stiff upper lip. Relax, after all we are an island destination, bring back this appeal.