The Government of the Virgin Islands has signed a voluntary collection agreement with Airbnb for Hotel Accommodation Tax on transient occupancy.
The agreement was signed on November 20 by the Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie on behalf of the Government while International Senior Tax Manager, Mr. Alan Maher signed on behalf of Airbnb.
Premier Fahie while delivering the Territory’s 2020 Budget Address spoke about the successes that property owners have had using the platform. He said the strong entrepreneurial spirit of the Virgin Islands shone in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Maria as local homeowners opened up their homes to visitors through the AirBnB online service.
“Your Government views Airbnb as a valuable part of our economic landscape and contributing positively to the economy,” the Premier said.
Airbnb is expected to complement the Government’s overall strategy to increase room stock by adding to the number of rooms that will open in 2020.
Over 2,000 guests booked accommodation through Airbnb between July 2017 and July 2018, with an average stay of four days. The income generated by these visits was used to assist Virgin Islanders in rebuilding after the catastrophic 2017 hurricane season that crippled the islands and accounted for more than $3.6 billion in damages.
The Government remains committed to increasing its rooms stock to accommodate overnight tourist visitors.