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May 9, 2017

B.T.B. Says Airbnb Must Play by Local Rules

Karen Bevans

Director of Tourism at the B.T.B., Karen Bevans, says that the collaborative consumption and sharing that Airbnb enable are the future of the travel industry.  It is, however, being met with mixed reception from local stakeholders in the hotel sector.

 

Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism, B.T.B.

“This is the way the industry is going.  We have been seeing many articles, particularly in the U.S., talking about the Airbnb issue.  We have received concerns and questions from our stakeholders and we believe that the more information we gather, the more information we get as well, that we would be able to jointly put together the best way forward for Belize.  Our intention is to grow the tourism industry and we want to ensure that what we promote, Belize as a destination, as having a good experience, is the experience that guests and tourists truly get when they arrive in Belize.  So our interest is to ensure that what is offered with Airbnb is of course up to the standard and the level that the destinations offer and we want to ensure too that those who operate via Airbnb are also operating legally within Belize and it is a leveled playing field for those on Airbnb and those on their own reservation systems as well.”

 

Reporter

“Is B.T.B. receiving concerns from the traditional hoteliers that this Airbnb is starting to, from their perception, affect their business in any kind of way competing directly with them and offering a service that’s cheaper than the prices they have?”

 

Karen Bevans

“Well it’s mixed views.  I don’t think that anyone could definitely say that Airbnb is the only factor impacting the tourism industry in any way, but there are concerns.  First of all, the hoteliers want to ensure that it’s a leveled playing field as I mentioned earlier and we as B.T.B. want to ensure that as well.  We want to ensure that all operators of accommodations are in compliance with the Hotel and Tourists Accommodation Act.  We want to ensure that our stakeholders are operating legally and we want to ensure that they are collecting the taxes from the guests and submitting those taxes to the B.T.B., and more importantly we want to ensure that minimum accommodation standards are met.”

 

There will be a similar presentation to be held in San Ignacio on Wednesday.

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1 Response for “B.T.B. Says Airbnb Must Play by Local Rules”

  1. DJ says:

    A lot of the businesses that use Airbnb are mirco – businesses. Many with only one room for accommodations. There market are far from those hotels that are crying. These cater for low income tourists. So come on, let poor people make a living. How will you want to impose taxes and fees to people charging as low as $12.00 USD per night. Seems that BTB already bending down to the big hoteliers. Sell outs!!

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