Air BnB owners must now pay hotel accommodation tax

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Part of the main island of Tortola. (Photo by Davion Smith / BVI News)

Local landlords who temporarily rent their homes through online booking agents, Air BnB, are now required to pay hotel accommodation tax in BVI.

The government made it a requirement at a cabinet meeting on April 30.

According to the report released after the Cabinet, the government entered into an agreement with Air BnB to facilitate tax collection.

Notably, the move comes about five months after the BVI Tourist Board signed a memorandum of understanding with the American company for residents to rent out their properties to short-term visitors.

The MoU came at a time when the number of accommodations available to visitors was dwindling following the onslaught of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

“We are delighted to be officially part of the Airbnb network. We believe Airbnb properties present a fabulous opportunity for roommates to experience the authentic culture and lifestyle of the British Virgin Islands, ”said Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus at the time.

One of the objectives of the agreement was to bring local, authentic and sustainable tourism to the territory and to “democratize the tourist economy”.

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