Published on : Friday, January 27, 2017
The government of Bermuda is thinking about “a ground-breaking proposal for partnership” with Airbnb, according to tourism minister Senator Michael Fahy. This news was welcomed by the Progressive Labour Party. Mr Fahy said that Bermuda Tourism Authority statistics from September 2016 showed 485 homeowners active in guest rentals, with 821 bedrooms on offer.
In Bermuda, the home-sharing industry in recent years has been gaining grounds, helped by technology and its popularity among young travelers. Mr. Fahy said that the developing market would pose “some form of competition” for hotels; however, home rentals would cater to “a different type of visitor”.
To quote Mr. Fahy, “We don’t see the growth in vacation rentals as a threat to Bermuda’s traditional hotels, but rather as a complement to an industry that has served us well over many years.” Mr. Fahy also said he did not expect the growing industry to have an impact on the availability of homes to rent to locals, calling it “a different business model”.
Mr. Fahy said that the Bermuda Tourism Authority had consulted on the matter with the Bermuda Hotel Association, as well as realtors, the vacation property rental sector and the public, via forums and surveys. To quote him again, “We believe this level of tourism development will also be a substantial part of refocusing Bermudians on the large variety of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities that can be realized through a highly-successful visitor-based sector.”