US Virgin Islands hotel expansion gets boost with new law

The US Virgin Islands took another in a series of strategic moves to encourage economic development under the leadership of governor Albert Bryan, Jr. The expanded Hotel Development Bill signed into law now allows hotel developers to channel a percentage of room revenue to finance renovating existing properties and building new hotels.

Administered through the US Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA), the bill was created to encourage and promote economic growth in the territory and incentivise construction of new hotels and resorts including commercial and other related facilities.

“The signing of this bill is a game-changer for the Territory’s hospitality industry. It will significantly benefit hotels, resorts, and small businesses impacted by increased tourism and accelerate opportunity for employment in the Territory,” said Kamal I. Latham, CEO of USVIEDA.

Under the new law, up to 100% of revenues generated from the existing 12.5% occupancy tax, plus 100% of the gross revenue generated from the newly created Economic Recovery Fee, which is up to 7.5% of the hotel guest bill, may be allocated to finance new hotel construction or a renovation project.

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