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Author Topic: Bermuda Tourism Authority  (Read 52624 times)
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Ace
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« Reply #315 on: February 01, 2017, 05:17:04 PM »

Hotel tax rates are as follows:

7.5% Occupancy tax (Paid to Accountant General)
4.25% BTA Tax (Paid to the BTA)

Total 11.75%

The occupancy taxes would be turned over to the BTA as part of the Tourism budget.

So, in a way the BTA is right.

I agree with tax but very light regulation on Vacation Rentals.  The regulation should be about making sure the places are habitable, insured, and up to par in respect of electrical and fire codes.  It should also be used to ensure those who are in the business pay their share of any new tax on the business through registration of all units and the ability to audit.

The deal the govt. struck with AirBnB will see tax paid , deducted and remitted to government at source, which is great.  That makes life easy.  But, if you are good and get repeat visitors, you only use AirBnB once for that business.  Repeats save on commission to AirBnB.  Once you have contact established there is no need to go through them, unless you are seeking the legal protection that booking through AirBnB provides, which isn't a lot but seen by many to be valuable.  So policing any new tax will be challenging without some form of regulation even with deals with all the vacation rental sites. 


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AMCAN
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« Reply #316 on: February 02, 2017, 02:57:01 PM »

Hotel tax rates are as follows:

7.5% Occupancy tax (Paid to Accountant General)
4.25% BTA Tax (Paid to the BTA)

Total 11.75%

The occupancy taxes would be turned over to the BTA as part of the Tourism budget.

So, in a way the BTA is right.

I agree with tax but very light regulation on Vacation Rentals.  The regulation should be about making sure the places are habitable, insured, and up to par in respect of electrical and fire codes.  It should also be used to ensure those who are in the business pay their share of any new tax on the business through registration of all units and the ability to audit.

The deal the govt. struck with AirBnB will see tax paid , deducted and remitted to government at source, which is great.  That makes life easy.  But, if you are good and get repeat visitors, you only use AirBnB once for that business.  Repeats save on commission to AirBnB.  Once you have contact established there is no need to go through them, unless you are seeking the legal protection that booking through AirBnB provides, which isn't a lot but seen by many to be valuable.  So policing any new tax will be challenging without some form of regulation even with deals with all the vacation rental sites.


For the rental visitor the 4.25% tax is only a price increase to give BTA a bigger piece of the pie and nothing else. The renter gets nothing that will make his/her visit more enjoyable. What will the owner get out of the visitor's 4.25% going to the BTA?? Maybe the owner will get an invite to one of the BTA parties.
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Ace
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« Reply #317 on: February 02, 2017, 03:06:30 PM »

They haven't said what the rates for Vacation Rentals will be, I suspect 2.5-3%.

The Vacation rental units are in the hospitality industry.  If the BTA spend money on ads...whatever...the owners will get a benefit.  They (correction WE)should contribute.  Full stop.

I have two units at home.
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AMCAN
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« Reply #318 on: February 02, 2017, 03:55:19 PM »

They haven't said what the rates for Vacation Rentals will be, I suspect 2.5-3%.

The Vacation rental units are in the hospitality industry.  If the BTA spend money on ads...whatever...the owners will get a benefit.  They (correction WE)should contribute.  Full stop.

I have two units at home.

But the big losers are the renters, BTA tax, AirBnB fees and additional Government fees that all end up increasing the total cost probably by 25% or more. The bottom line the renter is making the contribution. Big IF.....BTA will spend time and money on advertising anything that will direct renter away from guest house and hotels. Guest house and hotels are bitching about rentals now and BTA won't be giving rentals much help. The thought of leveling the field is more likely to backfire when renters discover Bermuda taxes them for the privilege of their spending money in Bermuda. This is getting back to the "owners" attitude that what they were providing a guest was good enough, this ruined tourism.
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Ace
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« Reply #319 on: February 02, 2017, 04:33:20 PM »

Where do you get 25% from?

Renters rent now and happily pay a fee to book online.  (The owners pay a 3% commission on top of that fee for the booking).  If a 3% tax is now charged the owners have a choice....the same choice that had to be made by hotels and guesthouses when the 4.25% tax was introduced.  Do we simply charge the visitor the extra 3% or do we lower our rate by 3% and effectively eat the tax.  Or a combination...ie raise the rent 1% and eat 2%.

The market will determine which choice is best.

There is no sudden 25% increase. 

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AMCAN
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« Reply #320 on: February 02, 2017, 06:39:35 PM »

Where do you get 25% from?

Renters rent now and happily pay a fee to book online.  (The owners pay a 3% commission on top of that fee for the booking).  If a 3% tax is now charged the owners have a choice....the same choice that had to be made by hotels and guesthouses when the 4.25% tax was introduced.  Do we simply charge the visitor the extra 3% or do we lower our rate by 3% and effectively eat the tax.  Or a combination...ie raise the rent 1% and eat 2%.

The market will determine which choice is best.

There is no sudden 25% increase. 


AIrBnB "guest fee" is averaging 15%, "host fee" is minimum of 3%, BTA fee is 4% and Government will have to add a % to cover their regulation cost and 25% is a good estimate of what the guest will end up paying for the privilege of choosing Bermuda for a holiday rental.
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Ace
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« Reply #321 on: February 02, 2017, 07:36:42 PM »

15% is the top guest rate fee and is being paid now.  It ranges from 5-15%.  This is nothing new to the Vacation Renters.  It is also generally only paid on visit #1 though.  Repeat visitors are motivated to keep coming back to the same place and to completely cut out AirBnb/FlipKey/Bermudarentals etc.  If they come to us a second time that 15% *average* drops to zero.  They are very loyal as a result generally.

The owners pay the 3%, passed on to the renters at their discretion, but worked into the overall rate the owners charge.  Again, nothing new to the renters.  They do not even see it.

The BTA fee is 4% for Vacation Rentals?  News to me.  I thought they would start it at 2.5-3%.  Where did you get that number?

If government adds a tax on top, again news to me if they have said that, that would be an occupancy tax effectively and the owners should be then eligible for a pro rated exemption currently available for guesthouses and hotels, on the rental units upgrades and renovations, in my opinion at this stage of course.

The AirBnB renter will only be paying whatever new tax is imposed over and above what they are paying now.  If govt and the BTA try and make a meal of it they will totally fuck up a good thing.  I don't think that will happen.  The business is booming, I can assure you.  Our occupancy is way up over the past few year.  What I don't want to see going forward are stories of mattresses being thrown in corners of moldy basements and renters feeling they were lured into a horrible experience, or someone getting electrocuted in a shower because of faulty wiring.  Americans will sue anyone and everyone, including the BTA/Govt.  They won't win the huge damages they pay out in the US, but they can make life miserable for a very long time.
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AMCAN
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« Reply #322 on: February 06, 2017, 04:16:41 PM »

BTA continues to maintain 2 Facebook pages/sites, Tourism and Authority. Maintaining these pages/sites requires a BTA staff member(s) to monitor and post. Most of what is posted on the Authority page should be posted on the Tourism page too if the BTA insists on maintaining the 2 pages.

From the BTA CEO down they squawk about how they monitor social media and track the ROI, if they do monitor the ROI they would dump the Authority page. Excuse me for repeating, the Tourism page has over 150,000 'Likes' and the Tourism page has around 500 'Likes'.

BTA also continues to use Vimeo for their (almost 100) looky looky videos. These Vimeo videos might be seen by visitors if they are watching Bermuda TV in their room and a dozen or so who watch Vimeo. BTA has spent hundreds of thousands ($$$,$$$) on videos of self-promotion to try and justify their existence and more failure to monitor the ROI. Videos should have been on YouTube where hundreds of thousands of people could view them! Face Palm       
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Ace
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« Reply #323 on: February 07, 2017, 08:39:38 AM »

The BTA are acting like the old Tourism Ministry these days.

I called to ask about the new tax on vacation rentals and was put on hold while the receptionist tried to find someone who could answer a very simple question.

When she returned to the call I got the "Can I take your number and someone will get back to you?" schlep.

Still waiting for the call.  I never expected to hear back though to be honest.  Just like when you leave a message at any ministry.  Forget it.

As to the use of Vimeo....I cannot explain that.  Perhaps someone has a nice cozy arrangement with Vimeo.  I do recall the deal the BTA did with Uber.  Let's see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0maEbpfqARM

1,075 views.  Oh dear.

No sign of that video on Vimeo.

It's a good video.  Why so few views?

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AMCAN
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« Reply #324 on: February 07, 2017, 10:57:54 AM »

Ace, I feel the BTA never shook off the old BDoT ways. Big difference I see is BTA creatied the tourism stakeholder social circle to temper the criticism of their work.

I saw or heard that BTA wanted same % from VR but I assume that % would have to approved by Parliament. Kevin said BTA is going after Government from other sources of funding too.

YouTube has 1B viewers and Vimeo has 170M which makes it a no brainer.

BTA can't get their new website sorted out so it makes it easy to navigate and get directly to the areas that potential visitors need to see quickly. There are still guest houses that don't have any pictures on BTA website. Finding beach section is almost impossible but BTA claims "beaches" are a priority. Go figure!
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« Reply #325 on: February 09, 2017, 08:14:59 AM »

I agree.  The BTA has tried too hard to make their employees *happy* with event after event.  It seems now the employees expect those events and probably consider them work.  You can take them out of the Civil Service but you can't take the Civil Service out of them. 

As to the new website, there has been little to no information given or requested.  It is a scroll down first page site.  Don't like that, most people will miss what is below the splash page.

Noted re pics. 
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AMCAN
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« Reply #326 on: February 09, 2017, 03:38:52 PM »

Ace, I like that "splash page" reference it is very appropriate as the first page does nothing more than splash a bunch of topics hoping one will wet a viewer's interest. Must be the new shotgun approach! Bermuda Tourism has never had a really good website that could hold the viewer's attention long enough to give them (viewer) the desire to book a trip to Bermuda.

Ewrat, Billy and Ann (BDoT) made half-assed attempt back in 2009/2010 wasting $1.2M on iCrossing's attempt at a new website which was nothing more than massaging the existing site. Over the years other changes were made to the website but it was never user friendly or easy to navigate.

In late 2015 Emperor Billy announced that BTA had spent millions on a much needed new website that would be announced in early 2016. The new website didn't get announced until 3rd. Quarter 2016. At recent PAC meeting Karla and Duncan tried to explain the $1.4M in BTA 2015 financial statement under "Website". They finally explained that $500,000 was for researching the new website but did not include the cost of the new website.

The website should be the best and most important core marketing tool BTA has but the new website, as it is now, is the worst marketing tool BTA has. If the new website cost multiple millions to research and create the ROI will never be in the positive column.

All the looky looky from BTA and no one at BTA even references the website, they must know it isn't a functioning tool. Stakeholders should be demanding that BTA get a website that functions as the best and most important tool for all Bermuda tourism.      
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 03:52:35 PM by AMCAN » Logged
AMCAN
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« Reply #327 on: February 10, 2017, 01:39:54 AM »

Was that Bill Hanbury or his "doppelganger" dining in London with Vicky Isley and Kevin Dallas?? Were their respective companions there too? Too bad BTA execs don't have to show the public their travel expenses for a week in London, like Premier and Ministers.  Devil

Oops...the doppelgänger for Alastair Jack and Mrs. Jack were dining there too.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 01:25:23 PM by AMCAN » Logged
AMCAN
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« Reply #328 on: February 15, 2017, 03:06:13 PM »

http://www.royalgazette.com/business/article/20170215/btas-big-return-on-13m-marketing-spend 

Obviously Kevin is going to continue in lock step with Emperor Billy's looky looky which will please Dodwell and the BTA Board, makes it easier justify the 2016 bonuses. Maybe Kevin's wine & dine in London last week with Billy, Alastair and others was part of their bonus to help keep their tax down.

There is nothing to confirm these 24,500 people came to Bermuda as a result of the ad campaign. Visitor spending is calculated by using info from a couple of percent of the visitors who returned the info to BTA. Longwoods could only make assumptions and estimates based on what BTA provided them.

The Pink Sale was allegedly responsible for some/lot of the increase, how much did Bermuda hotels lose by cutting their rates by 50% so BTA can say looky looky at what we did?? Why didn't BTA post December 2016 numbers? A first year university stats class would blow this ROI claim out of the water.

Typical consultants, Longwoods told BTA what they (Longwoods) knew BTA wanted to hear. What did it cost BTA to hear what they wanted?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 03:14:31 PM by AMCAN » Logged
AMCAN
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« Reply #329 on: February 15, 2017, 06:00:56 PM »

http://www.gotobermuda.com/sites/default/master/files/roi_report_longwood_-_correct.pdf

Kevin says in RG we misunderstand the methodology of the measures.  lmao Either he doesn't know this report has been online for a few weeks or he is doing the same old BTA spin dance.

Longwoods clearly state they they used figures provided by the BTA. Moon

IMHO, Kevin is way out of his comfort zone! I thought he would be smart enough to tell RG readers where to find this misunderstood research.
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