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(Barbados Today) The Ministry of Finance is being advised to ensure there is clarity on what comprises the informal accommodation sector before imposing taxes on those involved in the programme.

The unregistered lodging sector has been generating an increasing amount of interest among the formal sector, as a rising number of visitors choose homestay programmes such as Airbnb over hotels.

This has prompted calls for regulation and taxation of the short-term accommodation providers.

However, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy warned at a recent news conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre that the authorities must tread carefully.

“I know the Ministry of Finance is keen to get tax revenue. But again before you can tax something you have to find out what it is. It is not simply the case of just saying, ‘all these people are using the Internet to provide accommodation and it is happening outside of the tax net’. Some of these people are normal hotels that are just using it to get business. So we have to do some analysis and go from there,” Sealy insisted.

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