Bermuda MP lobbies for more tourist accommodations
Kim Swan of the United Bermuda Party said additional quality accommodation is required now to woo more visitors to the country.
HAMILTION, Bermuda, Monday December 19, 2011 - Opposition legislator Kim Swan is pushing for executive homeowners to convert their properties to licensed tourist accommodations to boost the room stock and woo more visitors to the country’s shores.
Swan, of the United Bermuda Party (UBP) said insufficient visitor accommodation is one of the challenges facing the tourism industry, citing a recent report by the Tourism Board.
That report identified a five-year dramatic decline in large hotel and other accommodations.
To reverse this trend, the Member of Parliament suggests the immediate addition of quality accommodation.
“Bermuda once had numerous self contained guest houses, many with pools strategically located throughout the island during the glory days of tourism. Many of these privately owned licensed guest houses opted out of the tourism industry when the boom years of international business provided lucrative long-term leases,” he said.
“Today the rental market is saturated with accommodations and there are far less persons able to afford executive homes due to the exodus of foreign workers in international business.”
Swan said conversion of executive homes to licensed tourist accommodations would “signal a return to the industry”, create new jobs and motivate locals to promote the country overseas.
“With an eight month off-season Bermuda has room for growth but needs licensed beds to market if we are to turn around our fortunes. This is an opportunity immediately waiting,” the UBP MP noted.
“There is a market for licensed holiday accommodations and it would be a huge benefit to the industry to have locals return to the guest house business,” he added.