#TurksandCaicos, November 8, 2017 – Providenciales – The Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Culture & Gaming is inviting public feedback on the proposed changes to the Tourist Accommodation (Licensing) Ordinance, 1979 which seeks to address longstanding issues as it relates to lack of adherence to provisions outlined in the Ordinance and loss of government’s revenue.
In addition to correcting these deficiencies, the amendments aim to:
o To amend the language of Section 2 – Definition of Lodging;
o To amend current language of Section 16 – Penalties;
o To amend current language of Section 17 (3)- License Fee;
o To amend current language of Section 4 – Board may grant license;
o To propose new Inspection Fee.
The Ministry aims to regularize its relationship with Airbnb through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This is not an uncommon position, as many other countries have done so. As we attempt to address issues of revenue and maintenance of quality and standards with Brand TCI.
So far, the growth of Airbnb both locally and internationally is unprecedented and cannot be ignored. Many of us are aware of the potential Airbnb has for revenue generation as a source of income for both individuals and the country. A partnership arrangement with TCI would seek to garner global recognition and assistance needed in order to get our industry back on path.
The Ministry of Tourism is gravely concerned that if left unregulated, there can be fall out. To mitigate against this risk, we are proposing several changes to the ordinance and regulations. These proposed changes we believe are sufficient to give the TB the authority it needs to inspect premises and hold persons accountable to adherence of the law.
As a Tourism stakeholder your views, comments, and suggestions are critical to the progression of any proposed amendments. As end users it is important that we have your cooperation to be sure of any measure of success.
With this in mind, we are asking you to peruse the attached list of proposed changes with your knowledge and experience of and with Airbnb, and respond to the questions outlined:
- Do you consider these changes as warranted? (Yes/No). Please respond separately for each question.
- If you said yes to any, please explain your response. (e.g. Fees too high, or too low, etc.)
- Are they sufficient to address your concerns regarding Airbnbs? (Yes/No)
- If your response is no, to question 3, please list areas of concerns you believe are not covered in the proposed amendments?
The Ministry of Tourism, in its efforts to foster partnerships with Airbnb and other core stakeholders is convinced that this intervention will be a catalyst for the industry’s growth in its ability to provide assurances of quality standards and compliance with local and international legislation.
Consultation Period – October 17th to November 16th, 2017
Ways to respond:
1) By email to correspondence documentation on TCIG website and Tourist Board website firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Face to face engagements with stakeholder groups by invitation.
We look forward to your attendance.
Mrs. Cherylann Jones