BTA: “Important Move For The Tourism Industry”

April 22, 2022 | 1 Comment

“This is an important move for the tourism industry” and “we look forward to the return of the Fairmont Southampton’s inventory of rooms, conference facilities and the hundreds of jobs it will bring,” BTA CEO Charles Jeffers II said following the tabling of the Fairmont Southampton Act in the House of Assembly today. 

Background

The hotel has been closed for some time, and last month Westend said they have “obtained third-party institutional debt and equity investors for the Fairmont Southampton in excess of $300 million,” and noted that the “target is to commence the re-development this summer with a plan for a grand re-opening in 2023.”

The developers also noted that “upon reopening, the hotel will create over 800 direct employment opportunities and many more jobs for local restaurants, taxicabs, and other related businesses.”

Rendering of plans for the hotel’s renovations

Bill Provides For Concessions For 15 Years

The Bill grants a number of customs duty and tax concessions and it can be read in full here. In most cases, the concessions last for 15 years, which has received some criticism on social media.

In delivering this year’s budget the Premier noted “there are jurisdictions in the Caribbean that offer 30 years or more of tax concessions” and said that ”hotel concessions of that length seem extreme, but governments have recognised that the revenue from direct taxation of hotels pales in comparison to the money and employment generated for the country through having hotels open and operating.”

He added, “hospitality development presents a difficult paradigm for Bermuda on account of the high cost of labour and doing business. The concession framework within which we operate is simply not competitive.”

Fairnont BDA hotel Bill parliament concessions 2022

BTA CEO Comments

BTA CEO Charles H. Jeffers II said, “This is an important move for the tourism industry. We look forward to the return of the Fairmont Southampton’s inventory of rooms, conference facilities and the hundreds of jobs it will bring.

“Redevelopment of the iconic property gives Bermuda a solid crack at restoring airlift, reclaiming group and convention business and visitor numbers to pre-pandemic levels.”

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  1. puzzled says:

    Scam.

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