On September 14th, The Legal 500, in partnership with QA Legal, were incredibly proud to host the first ever roundtable in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, entitled the Tourism and Real Estate GC Roundtable. The highly anticipated event took place at the stunning Mélia Caribe Beach Resort, and was attended by the top in-house counsel in the tourism sector within the region.
Setting the tone for the evening were David Freeman, Global Business Development Manager, and Elena Lewis, Senior Research Analyst at The Legal 500, who highlighted the ever-growing importance of such Roundtable events, especially so in the Dominican Republic.
The discussion was then handed over to the moderator of the discussion, Jose Quiroz, president and founding partner of QA Legal. Jose introduced the topic of the discussion, and gave an overview of hotels and digital platforms for short-term rental in the Dominican Republic, highlighting the evolution of digital vacation rental platforms in the country.
Some incredibly important topics were debated in depth between the in-house lawyers, the first being the legal framework for hotels and vacation rental platforms. Participants discussed in depth the regulations that apply to both traditional hotels and digital vacation rental platforms.
The discussion then led onto zoning and licensing requirements; zoning and licensing requirements are essential issues for the operation of both hotels and vacation rentals. The in-house counsel in attendance discussed these requirements in depth, as well as the potential difficulties in complying with them.
Following this, applicable taxes and revenue sharing models were discussed in association to both traditional hotels and vacation rentals, and how fair and equitable tax structures can be ensured.
Consumer protection and safety was another important topic that was brought up in this discussion, specifically the necessary safety measures that must be adopted and possible liabilities.
Finally, the impact of technology and innovation, and sustainability and environmental regulations, both highly important and current trends in all industry sectors, but especially the tourism sector, were discussed.
Overall, the Tourism and Real Estate GC Roundtable was an incredibly successful and lively discussion. The discussion was followed by networking drinks and canapes, where in-house lawyers got the opportunity to meet their peers in the same sector, and continue their debate.
On behalf of The Legal 500, greatly look forward to returning to the Dominican Republic for future events.