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Encouraging investment in hotels and tourism

What’s to come: Michael Dunkley, the Premier, and Marc Bean, the Leader of the Opposition, attend the Reconvening of Parliament and Throne Speech (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

New laws to encourage investment in hotel development will go before MPs in the upcoming Parliamentary year.

The Tourism Investment Incentive Act, which is expected to replace the existing Hotel Concessions Act, will also provide incentives for tourism-related products.

In Friday’s Throne Speech, the Governor, George Fergusson, said the new legislation was designed to “encourage job creation and training for Bermudian hospitality workers”.

He also detailed the next stage of the Bermuda Government’s plans to establish a domestic gaming industry on the Island.

“Progress in rebuilding Bermuda’s tourism industry can be seen in hotel developments moving forward across the Island,” Mr Fergusson said.

“The work is creating jobs and setting the stage for Bermudian employment opportunities over the long term. Integral to this effort is the Ministry of Tourism Development’s work with the recently formed Bermuda Gaming Commission to establish and develop a domestic gaming industry. To that end, the Government will introduce regulations for the administration and regulation of gaming.”

Listing a string of new hotel developments, including Pink Beach, Morgan’s Point and the proposed St George’s hotel, Mr Fergusson said: “These are significant developments that promise job and career opportunities for Bermudians while setting the stage for a tourism revival that was nowhere in sight a few short years ago.”

He also unveiled a series of proposed amendments to customs legislation that would “properly accommodate” Bermuda’s contractual obligations in hosting the 2017 America’s Cup.

Mr Fergusson added: “Additional amendments will exempt the ACBDA from paying land tax for leased land at the Royal Navy Dockyard that is used as a venue for the America’s Cup.

“This will ensure that Government grant monies are spent on development rather than land tax.

“Other initiatives will be announced later in this Parliamentary year that build upon the recently held Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events and help to ensure the success of Bermuda’s hosting of the 2017 America’s Cup.”