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The tourism sector calls for registration obligation for Airbnb

Press Release BONHATA


KRALENDIJK – BONHATA (Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association), Hotel and Tourism Association), representing the tourism industry on the island, advocates for a registration obligation for those who put their home, apartment, or room on online platforms such as Airbnb, booking.com, and Vrbo. The registration obligation is a way of preventing unfair competition and loss of tax revenue by vacation rentals and to ban the type of tourists who contribute relatively little to the economy of Bonaire.

There are many homes, apartments, and studios on Bonaire that are rented out via online platforms. The owners of these homes often do not collect and pay tourist tax. This creates an unfair situation. 1.the island loses income due to this tax evasion, 2. it leads to unfair competition against hotels and resorts that do collect and pay taxes. 3. Unfair for the tourist that does pay the tourism tax.


Using a second home for short-term rental to tourists is attractive because it generates a nice extra income. However, it puts more pressure on the already difficult housing. This makes it difficult for many residents of Bonaire to buy an affordable home. In addition, vacation rentals in residential areas on Bonaire often cause a nuisance to residents. The houses and the neighborhoods are not made for tourism traffic. Vacation rentals in residential areas are prohibited by law, but the enforcement is minimal.

Furthermore, registration obligation also helps to gain insights into the number of beds and rooms on Bonaire. This information can be used to strategically guide development in the tourism sector. The number of beds and rooms are known for hotels and resorts, but this is not registered for the individual rental of studios and apartments.


The board of BONHATA says: “The registration obligation will lead to a better quality of life in residential areas and less house deprivation due to vacation rental. In addition, it will push these vacation rental owners to comply with their tax obligations and hopefully attracts the type of tourist that is willing to contribute to the island by paying the tourism tax, as is the case in many other countries”


In Amsterdam, since 1 October 2021, only private individuals who have registered with the municipality are allowed to list their homes on online vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo. As a result, the number of accommodations in Amsterdam available on these sites decreased by 75 percent. The expectation is that implementing a registration obligation on Bonaire will also result in a decrease in unregulated holiday rentals.




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