Bermudians urged to enter tourism industry as MPs pass hotel incentives – The Royal Gazette
Created: Jul 19, 2022 07:52
Cambridge beaches (file photo)
MPs have given Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa the green light to receive a series of concessions over the next ten years.
Cambridge Beaches Holdings Ltd will be exempt from paying customs duties on building materials, fixtures and fittings needed for renovations.
The company, which bought the property last year, will also be exempt from paying hotel tourist tax, property tax and the employer’s share of payroll tax for ten years, a period authorized by law in effect for renovations of existing hotels whose expenditure is worth more than half of the appraised value of the property.
Vance Campbell, the Minister for Tourism, said that under the Tourism Investment Order 2022 (Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa), which was introduced in Parliament this month and approved on Friday evening, developers will be obligated to ensure that training is in place for Bermudians. and that at least 70% of the workforce is Bermudian.
“The field is ripe for Bermudians choosing careers in the tourism industry,” Mr. Campbell said. “Opportunities are there to be seized.
Vance Campbell (file photo)
He added that the statutory relief, in line with that approved to redevelop the Fairmont Southampton, is not only available to hotels.
“The schedule makes it clear that new and existing restaurants are eligible for relief and also tourist attractions.
“The government’s goal is to create the conditions that inspire investor confidence at all levels of the tourism economy, creating a desire to invest and reinvest as we continue to see the recovery of tourism in Bermuda. I am happy to commend this order for the support of this honorable house.
MPs on both sides of the aisle backed the legislation to boost tourism, which Mr Campbell said was “in Bermuda’s national economic interest”.
Opposition MP Craig Cannonier said: “Anything that will improve our tourism product is vital.”
He questioned the criteria for the concessions which were tied to an opening date, saying Cambridge Beaches was already operating.
Mr. Campbell said an opening date in relation to new development is the date on which the initial license comes into effect. He said Cambridge Beaches qualified because renovation spending exceeded 50% of the hotel’s appraised value. Renovations must also be completed within three years.
Christopher Famous, the Progressive Labor MP, said some in the community would say tourism in Bermuda is “dead”.
But he added that minibus drivers, taxi drivers and restaurants were all reporting an increase in business. “Clearly we are on the rebound,” he said.