BTA: Opportunity ‘Bigger Than First Thought’

April 18, 2017

As many as 3,300 unoccupied residences in Bermuda could be primed for the vacation rental market, according to a figure was revealed at the first of four Airbnb-Bermuda Tourism Authority vacation rental information sessions last night.

“This is the first piece of raw data that helps quantify the size and scope of the vacation rental opportunity in Bermuda and the opportunity is bigger than first thought,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas.


“There are 3,381 residences categorised as vacant dwellings in Bermuda, which means they are unoccupied and habitable. The number of vacant dwellings is estimated to be 9 percent of the total number of dwellings across the island,” the BTA said.

“To attract new homeowners into the tourism economy, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Airbnb presented an information session to potential vacation property owners in St. George on Monday.

“Two other sessions will take place in the west end [Tuesday evening] and centrally [Wednesday evening]. A fourth session for current vacation rental property owners will take place Wednesday morning. Online registration is required: Register Now.

Remaining Information Sessions

  • Tuesday, April 18th | 5:00pm – 7:00pm | Potential VRP Hosts | Dalton E. Tucker Primary School, Southampton
  • Wednesday, April 19th | 8:30am – 10:30am |Current VRP Hosts | Cathedral Church Hall, Hamilton
  • Wednesday, April 19th | 5:00pm – 7:00pm | Potential VRP Hosts | Cathedral Church Hall, Hamilton

“The information sessions, part of a MOU between the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Airbnb, are designed to build on the island’s legendary hospitality, grow the number of vacation rentals and attract more Bermudians into the tourism economy,” the BTA added.

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Comments (14)

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  1. aceboy says:

    There is a fine line here. Saturate the vacation rental market too much and you will kill the hotel business.

    Be very careful BTA.

  2. Shame says:

    Stop pressuring locals to create more AirBnB’s when the local rental market is still high and availability is down. Locals > Tourists any day of the week. BTA is out of touch with reality and is paving a broken road with good intentions.

  3. Stinky D. says:

    We can’t even fill up a hotel how can we fill up 3000 residences?

  4. sage says:

    At the fourth session current VR owners will obviously be getting an exclusive presentation where they will be assured they will be grandfathered in, won’t be taxed and convinced that adding 3300 new listings to the 450 we have now will increase their bottom line.

    • Kevin Dallas says:

      Not at all.

      The three sessions for those that are interested is so home owners and service providers can learn more about how to sign up, and what’s involved in being a good host. They’re a relatively straight forward introduction to the sector and the Airbnb platform.

      The fourth session for current participants in the sector is a more advanced session focused on how to improve your listing, get more bookings, and to be an even better host.

      Nobody is hearing anything different about taxes; just free market opportunities for Bermudian homeowners to make some money and give our visitors the kind of experience that some of them want some of the time.

      • sage says:

        Ok, thanks for the reply, although my comment was tongue in cheek, I think adding so many new listings will lower income for individual property owners, so instead of a 1 in 456 chance someone picks your listing it may be a 1 in 3756 chance. the average income ($14,000p/a) would drop unless we expect bookings to jump seven fold. I’m interested to hear what the proposed legislative changes being brought by the BTA are exactly, fees, possible tax, concessions for VR owners, safety regs, liability issues etc.

  5. Freshair says:

    It’s a staggering sign of the misalignment of Bermuda’s housing stock if there are 3300 housing units unoccupied.

    • 32n64w says:

      Agreed. We can thank the PLP elite for the exodus of thousands of full time rental clients. But they’ll feign ignorance and point fingers at others for their economically crippling socioeconomic policies.

  6. Onion Juice says:

    “Could be”

  7. Jacob says:

    I’ve just invested in a vacation rental unit. Just what I need – 3,000 competitors. What the BTA and the Government fail to recognize is that unless this market is allowed to grow organically, you can easily damage the brand with ill equipped owners, or permanently depress prices with too much supply. People in the business today span the spectrum of all groups of owners in Bermuda and those who are focused and serious are doing well. Let it grow on its own as demand increases. We were just starting to see some progress – and here comes the Government to fix it for us. Thanks

  8. Tourism Advocate says:

    The BTA was making this pitch to homeowners of unoccupied residences long before you lot knew what the number was. Same for the PLP. Same for the Tourism Minister.

    And now that you know the number is 3,000 there is faux-outrage. So predictable.

  9. It's a political fulfillment says:

    This is simply the OBA trying to take a PLP vision in a Political year..

    The OBA’s views flip flops in the same day..

    However, I am on the side of organic growth… Private adverising.. Cutting out of the middle man, namely the privately owned company that is funded by taxpayers called BTA…

    Over regulation will kill the spirit..