Aruba (Feb. 2023) — Vacation Rental Professionals Aruba (VRPA) has expressed its support for increased compliance and regulation in the vacation rental industry to ensure its continued growth on the island. As vacation rentals make up a significant portion of the tourism industry and are a rapidly growing global travel trend VRPA believes that further regulations will be necessary to manage the industry responsibly and sustainably.
The goal of the directive for responsible and sustainable vacation rentals in Aruba is to work together with policymakers to discuss how to implement and execute the recommendations.
A recent economic impact study on vacation rentals in Aruba found that the industry contributes close to 1 billion florins to the local economy.
VRPA, represented by members Sjoerd de Vries, Alex Cybul, and Alberto Perret, has developed a list of 10 recommendations for responsible and sustainable vacation rentals in Aruba, in collaboration with Casiola’s CEO & Founder, Dennis Geodheid, who operates a vacation rental company based in Orlando, Florida and has a decade of experience in this sector. The recommendations include introducing a vacation rental license system, increasing tax compliance, enriching and empowering the Aruban workforce, ensuring a proper balance between vacation rentals and affordable housing, and implementing plans for noise, parking, and trash management.
To ensure a level playing field between vacation rentals and traditional hotels, VRPA suggests agreements with OTA’s (such as Airbnb) to remit Tourist Levy and Environmental Levy directly on behalf of the owner, and for vacation rental managers to remit taxes on behalf of the owners based on overall revenue.
VRPA also proposes a cap on the number of available vacation rental licenses to 7% of the residential unit supply on the island of Aruba, with approximately 3000 vacation rental licenses to be distributed across the island and a number of licenses reserved for locals. Part of the vacation rental license fee could be used to support affordable housing projects.
To conserve the neighborhood feel, vacation homes should be well-maintained, landscaped, clean, and safe, and owners should be willing to invest in their properties. Noise, parking, and trash management plans should also be implemented to ensure the comfort and safety of guests and permanent residents.
Finally, VRPA suggests attracting more families, Millennials, and Gen Z, who prefer vacation rentals over hotels and will account for 75% of all consumers and travelers by 2025, with an expected annual compounding growth rate of 9.87% for the vacation rental industry between 2021-2025. VRPA believes that by retaining returns in the local Aruban community, money will stay in Aruba and benefit the island’s economy.
The full list of recommendations:
- Introducing a vacation rental license system
- Increase tax compliance
- Enrich and empower the Aruban workforce
- Ensure a proper balance between vacation rentals and affordable housing
- Introduce Noise Management Plan
- Introduce Parking Management Plan
- Introduce Trash Management Plan
- Conserve the neighborhood feel
- Attract more families, Millennials & GenZ
- Retain returns in the local Aruban community
Vacation Rental Professionals (VRPA) was established as an association in 2021, by a group of professional vacation rental owners, to rightfully advocate and represent the best interest of vacation rental owners in Aruba, in a professional and diligent manner.
In the last few years, the vacation rental industry in Aruba has grown exponentially becoming an important pillar in the lodging industry in Aruba. It has become a necessity to have a professional platform to advocate on behalf of professional vacation rentals and help shape the future of the vacation rental industry in Aruba.
Our vision is to become the collective voice and meaningful advocate for the vacation rental industry in Aruba, elevating the professionalism of the industry and for Aruba to become the first option in the Caribbean for travelers by ensuring superior guest experience and homeowners’ satisfaction.
Our mission is to empower industry improvements and standards through education in best practices and networking opportunities to its members, homeowners, guests, the government, strategic partners, and other stakeholders, to promote a leveled playing field with sound regulations to ultimately unlock the full potential of Aruba as a vacation rental destination for the greater good of the community.