OBA Senator Dwayne Robinson On Tourism

June 20, 2024 | 7 Comments

“Tourism needs rebuilding and we are forcing our flagship entity to operate with less and less year over year, yet expecting an increase in results,” Opposition Senator Dwayne Robinson said.

Senator Robinson said, “Is this PLP Government committed to the growth of the Hospitality and Tourism sector of our economy. So far, their track record has not reflected their rhetoric.

“Failing to get the Fairmont Southampton open despite grandstanding and a press conference announcing the completion of the Special Development Order [SDO], the SDO remains ungazetted with the Government refusing to update either chamber of the legislature or the public on its progress.

“It is still unclear as to why the 2009 SDO could not have been enough to get the hotel reopened. Why couldn’t building begin and then if needed, the SDO expanded in the future?

“Implementing the Vacation Rental [Application and Registration] Fees Act, which placed an additional tax on the Vacation rental industry, has been detrimental as property owners were already paying land lax plus a fee to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

“The Bermuda Rental Association of Vacation Home rentals claims that 300 members took their properties off the rental market when the Vacation Rental Fees were introduced. I wonder how many more have done the same? This further reduces our bed capacity on island, on top of the closure of the Fairmont Southampton.

“In 2024, the BTA’s grant was reduced by $2.46M 2023 to $16.54M, the lowest amount in recent history. While revenues from visitor fees supplement the Government grant, they have not increased enough over time to compensate for reduction in funding due to capacity constraints.

“Tourism needs rebuilding and we are forcing our flagship entity to operate with less and less year over year, yet expecting an increase in results. However, we see the Finance Minister increase the government guarantee of the Bermuda Gaming Commission to $10M despite there being no gaming industry to regulate.

“The PLP Government must govern and negotiate better on behalf of Bermudians. It needs to be transparent regarding the delay with the reopening of Fairmont Southampton.

“Reverse the 4.5% Vacation Rental Fee it has levied on vacation rentals. If the Government wants to address the housing issues, it would be better served reviewing the Landlord and Tenant Act 1974, and update it, making landlords confident in renting out their properties again, while protecting the renters’ rights, instead of taxing them out of options.

“This Government must also decide whether gaming is a missed boat and whether it is time to reallocate those resources into other initiatives that benefit the people of Bermuda.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. kevin says:

    lets go back 25 years the then Dept of Tourism had a budget of 60+ million dollars yes some of that was F&F getting grants and placing contracts for the backdoor paydays but some of it actually went on marketing , would have been better to walk around NY BOS Phil and give away 10,000 free airline tickets to the island but thats just my opinion. But i guess having flip flop sing the US national Anthem at a Mets game was important. The BTA was devised to be none Political but the plp thought otherwise and you wonder why its now failing. Along with every and i mean every department is a mess they have one common denominator …plp…plp..plp.. getting the point 30 – 6 = 0 future for our Island

  2. hmm says:

    Nothing new here folks just another dwayne/Puppet.

    • David says:

      Some good ideas in this piece that would be a new/change from the current status quo re: tourism, vacation rentals and the rental market in general.
      Really glad he’s running in my constituency against Jason Wade… a man that supported the Travel Authorization Tax for THREE years and got in front of a room to publicly support the company that tried to get out of paying the South P union workers their rightful severance. Now there’s your good example of a puppet!

  3. watching says:

    You say the government isn’t serious about tourism yet the OBA comes out against everything the government does for tourism. What would be the OBA plan ? I believe the last few years have seen consistent upswing in tourism related numbers, and we are seeing flights resuming and more beds becoming available. Hotels are renovating, and adding on. That means there is confidence in bermuda as a destination. Using tourism as a political football is unfortunate. Especially from a party that are descendants from the original party who was willing to allow tourism in Bermuda to die in favor of IB.
    What exactly would be the OBA plan? And what would their realistic goal be for tourism?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “I believe the last few years have seen consistent upswing in tourism related numbers”

      Yes, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of L.F. Wade International Airport and the worst tourism numbers in several generations.

  4. Ringmaster says:

    Based on the last information from Burch, Bermudiana Beach Resort will be open and taking tourists next month. Or will it?

  5. Truth says:

    This traveling clown right here likes to change his seat every election. Robin Surrogate the safe seat was given to Robert King mate because the oba doesn’t know you exist.

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