Dallas delighted with progress made by BTA
Steady progress has been made across several key areas as the island looks to build on a successful 2017, the island’s tourism chief said yesterday.
Kevin Dallas, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Board, highlighted the passing of new legislation designed to spark more investment in the industry as well as a drive to develop the island’s beach economy.
Mr Dallas also called for vacation rental property to be defined in law to build on the success of the America’s Cup.
He said: “It’s necessary for Bermuda to legislatively define a vacation rental property, remove bureaucratic restrictions and develop a light-touch regulatory approach.
“These steps will help the Bermuda Tourism Authority support the growth of the vacation rental sector to the benefit of Bermudian homeowners, service providers and entrepreneurs.”
He added: “Bermuda’s vacation rental inventory increased steadily during the course of 2017, meeting demand from the 35th America’s Cup, but also demand from the younger, and experience-seeking, visitors that have powered Bermuda’s tourism resurgence.
“Discussions are under way with Government on how best to support and further develop this important opportunity for Bermudian homeowners, and we are confident there is a shared will to move forward.”
Just before the General Election, the BTA identified five priority policy items: The Tourism Investment Act, the beach economy, superyachts, vacation rentals and the Film Commission.
Mr Dallas told The Royal Gazette: “We are pleased to report progress to varying degrees on all five.”
He added that the just-passed Tourism Investment Act became law despite a change in government in July.
Mr Dallas said: “The BTA’s non-partisan approach helped to ensure a key piece of tourism legislation would advance, no matter the election’s outcome.
“Stakeholder forums have since been held across the island so the public can learn more about the opportunities included in the Act for Bermudians who want to invest in tourism.”
The BTA is still in talks with the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Development to complete the remaining parts of its plans for the beach economy.
Mr Dallas said the huge influx of superyachts during the America’s Cup would provide valuable data that can be used to draw up legislation needed to boost the sector.
The BTA is also in discussions with Government over the creation of a Film Commission to attract more photo, video and film projects to the island.
Mr Dallas said: “Many are considering Bermuda for their productions and incentives will make Bermuda more competitive with other jurisdictions vying for a slice of this market.
“This action will also support Bermudian producers.
“The BTA is on the hunt for a suitable demonstration project to bring to Government.”
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