Government and Airbnb have signed a voluntary collection agreement for Hotel Accommodation Tax on transient occupancy.
This is according to a government-commissioned media release which said the agreement was signed by Premier Andrew Fahie on November 20.
The agreement is aimed at complementing government’s overall strategy to increase room stock in the British Virgin Islands for overnight visitors.
It will see an addition to the number of rooms that will be made available in 2020.
Just one day before signing the agreement, Premier Fahie praised the Airbnb service and listed it as a valuable asset to the BVI.
“Our strong entrepreneurial spirit of Virgin Islanders shone in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria as local homeowners opened up their houses to visitors through the Airbnb online service. This provided a lifeline to our tourism industry when major properties were inoperable,” said Premier Fahie who is also Minister of Tourism.
He further said: “The expansion of the hotel stock poses no threat to Airbnb owners since the demand for rooms far exceeds the set targets and the market preferences are diverse. Your government views Airbnb as a valuable part of our economic landscape, and contributing positively to the economy.”
According to the release, more than 2,000 visitors booked accommodation through Airbnb in the BVI from July 2017 to July 2018.
The revenue generated from the service played a pivotal role in assisting homeowners in the territory with their rebuilding process, following the devastation caused by the September 2017 hurricanes.
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