The Government of Bermuda has been very cooperative in creating an environment where hotel development not only makes sense but is successful. There is a Customers Duty Relief Act that gives hotels relief on duty on items needed to import in order to run and develop their hotel. The Hotel Concessions Act is tailored to the need of each hotel which makes application for relief on substantial items which would include a hiatus on occupancy tax, payroll tax and there is discussion on reaching accommodation with our social partners the Bermuda Industrial Union to cause the importation of labour for the construction of a new major hotel development.
To add to this positive action, the Government has recently announced the provision for Residency Rights for the owners of Hotel Residences. The Hon. Wayne Furbert JP, MP, when Minister of Business Development & Tourism recently stated: “Like many other tourism destinations Bermuda has reviewed many initiatives that encourage investment and tourism development. One of these initiatives is mixed-use hotel development products which combine tourism and commercial retail on the same site. This lends to a diverse flow of investment from the different uses. ‘Hotel Residences’ can include condo hotel units, residence clubs and hotel villas. There is a market of wealthy individuals who invest in this type of product as a second, or third – and in some cases – a fourth or fifth home. Many of them are baby boomers and wealthy young people with affluent lifestyles.” This will give the purchaser the right to stay in Bermuda for as long as they wish, as opposed to formally three months.
The Bermuda Government is committed to holding a referendum on gaming which will hopefully result in it being allowed in Bermuda. We have many guests who have a desire to play games of chance and we anxiously await the results of discussions on this sensitive topic, which if approved will be another impetus for hotel developers.