HOSPITALITY: Bed & Breakfast's Are The Targets
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE Cape Chamber of Commerce says the Property Rates Amendment Bill unfairly targets Bed and Breakfast establishments and that this will damage the development of the tourist industry.
In a letter to the Director of the Department of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs, the Chamber says the B & B establishments play a vital role in accommodating tourists during periods of peak demand when hotels cannot cope and that they have become an essential part of the tourist industry.
Mr Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber, said that “in most cases B & B accommodation is seasonal and is therefore used for just a few weeks each year. It seems to the Chamber that it is grossly unfair to apply commercial rating for 12 months of the year when the accommodation is used for not much more than a month.
“B & B’s play a vital role in helping the tourist industry to deal with the peak demands created by event tourism such as the Argus Cycle Tour or the Two Oceans Marathon. In this way B & B’s complement the hotels which require reasonable occupancy throughout the year in order to remain viable. If hotels are required to provide all the accommodation for periods of peak demand they will have excess capacity during off-season periods and this will force them to charge higher tariffs with an adverse effect on tourism.”
Mr Bagraim said the availability of B & B accommodation helped persuade FIFA to stage the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. B & B’s were important assets and should be encouraged rather than punished with commercial property rates.
“In addition B & B’s spread the benefits of tourism into the suburbs and townships. This creates a friendly and welcoming climate for tourists and it helps to bring them back on future holidays.”
He said the Bill should differentiate between small establishments providing seasonal accommodation and those providing more extensive accommodation on a commercial basis for 12 months of the year.
The definition of residential property in the Bill should be changed as it certainly gave the impression that the owners of all rental accommodation would have to pay commercial property rates and that this would more than double monthly rates accounts and force up rents.
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