The inaugural day of the second annual Throp-X Investment Conference unfolded on Tuesday, November 14th, at Travellers Beach Resort in Negril. Conceived by Winthrope “Throp” Wellington, a New York native with Jamaican roots, this week-long event aims to delve into comprehensive discussions on investment strategies in Jamaica and the intricacies of real estate acquisition including how to navigate Airbnb short rentals in Jamaica with the forthcoming speculated regulations set by the government of Jamaica.
According to recent reports from Delano Seiveright, a Senior Strategist and Advisor in the Tourism Ministry, he has highlighted that approximately 29% of tourists in Jamaica opt for Airbnb or similar short-term rentals. He noted that Jamaica exhibits one of the highest growth rates in Airbnb stays in the Caribbean, projecting over 10,000 Airbnb rooms and accommodations in the country by 2023.
Day one commenced with a panel discussion titled “The Ins and Outs of Real Estate,” moderated by Amashika Lorne. The panellists, Maura Watson, a realtor associate at D.C. Taveres & Finson, and Noel Phillips, a realtor associate at Valerie Levy & Associates, focused on the complexities of property acquisition for Airbnb and short-term rentals. They advocated for government involvement in regulating short-term accommodations.
During the conference, Realtor Noel Phillips expressed a willingness to embrace industry regulations, emphasizing the importance of contributing taxes for infrastructure improvements. He stated, “We should be willing to pay some taxes because we want the roads to be fixed. We want the areas where visitors go to be well-maintained and developed, as it positively impacts Airbnb properties.” Investor Delano Dowdie stressed the need for clarity in these regulations, suggesting that authorities connect with stakeholders on the ground for insights.
Realtor Maura Watson advised potential buyers to scrutinize sales agreements, especially if purchasing property for Airbnb purposes, as certain developments may prohibit such usage. The discussions underscored the evolving landscape of real estate in Jamaica and the potential benefits of collaborative efforts between the government and industry stakeholders.