Licensing and Inspection

The Licensing and Inspections Unit has the key responsibility of ensuring that all accommodations available to visitors meet the Department of Tourism’s strict standards for safety and cleanliness.

Inspecting all properties, from the cosiest guest house or condo, to our most prestigious hotels, the licensing and inspection team helps present the best accommodations that the Cayman Islands have to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Licensing Process

  • Do I need a license to operate a short-term rental tourist accommodation in the Cayman Islands?

    Yes. A Tourism Accommodation License is required to operate your property as a short-term rental to visitors. Under the Tourism Law (1995), Section 8 (1) “No person shall operate tourist accommodation unless licensed on that behalf by the Board”. Additionally, section 14(2) of the Tourism Law states that “Whoever operates or attempts or offers to operate any tourist accommodation when not licensed in that behalf is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per day in respect of every tourist to whom such accommodation is provided or offered.”
  • Who is responsible for licensing tourism accommodations in the Cayman Islands?

    The Hotel Licensing Board (HLB) is responsible for issuing Tourism Accommodation Licenses. The Board is responsible for ensuring that the standards of all properties are in compliance with the Tourism Law (1995).
  • How do I apply for a tourism accommodation license?

    Whether you are operating a single apartment/guesthouse with one bedroom or a large hotel with multiple rooms, you’ll need to complete and submit an application to the Department of Tourism along with the necessary fee.
  • What is the fee to license a tourism accommodation in the Cayman Islands and is it required for all tourism accommodations?

    Yes. Whether you are operating a single apartment/guesthouse with one bedroom or a large hotel with multiple rooms you are required to pay the application fee. Details of the application fees are provided below. Fees:

          1 – 10 Bedrooms = KY$ 250.00
          Over 10 Bedrooms – KY$ 250.00 plus KY$25.00 for every Bedroom over 10 Bedrooms
  • Are the fees associated with the application one-time fees?

    No. You are required to re-submit an application and the necessary fees on an annual basis for the renewal of your property’s Tourism Accommodation License.
    Licenses for apartments/condos, villas and guesthouses, expire on August 31st of each year. All properties must be licensed before September 1st of each year.
    Licenses for hotels expire on October 31st of each year. Hotels must be licensed before November 1st of each year.
  • How do I submit my tourism accommodation license application form?

    All properties are required to complete the Application for Tourist Accommodation License form for the renewal of an existing license or to apply for a new license to offer short-term rentals.

    For online applications:

    Complete the application form in the Related Documents Section at the bottom of this page, save it as a PDF document, insert your electronic signature or sign it, scan document and email it to: ar@caymanislands.ky
     

    For in-person applications:

    For persons who are unable to complete their submissions digitally, print and complete the application form and sign it.
     
    Grand Cayman:
    Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
    Government Administration Building, 3rd Floor
    133 Elgin Avenue, George Town
    Time: 9am-1pm (Monday- Friday)
     
    Cayman Brac & Little Cayman
    District Administration Building
    19 Kirkconnell Street, Stake Bay
    Time: 9am-1pm (Monday- Friday)
     
    The Department will be offering a limited amount of appointment slots for those who need to meet with an Accounts Receivable representative. To reserve an appointment, please email ar@caymanislands.ky

  • How do I pay my tourism accommodation license application fees?

    For online payments: 

    Before submitting payments via Electronic Funds Transfer, all supporting documentation must be emailed to: ar@caymanislands.ky. Once supporting documentation has been submitted, checked, and verified, persons will receive a notification from the Accounts Receivable team. Payment to the bank should not be made prior to receiving this notification. This procedure is to ensure that payment can be readily identified and applied to the correct account. When completing the Electronic Funds Transfer, tourism partners are asked to clearly indicate which property/application the payment is for.
     
     
    LOCAL ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER
    Funds maybe remitted to the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Electronic Funds Transfer (Direct Deposit), from any of the following Cayman Islands Automated Clearing House (CIACH) participant Banks:
    Cayman National Bank Limited
    Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited
    CIBC First Caribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited
    Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Limited
    RBC Royal bank (Cayman) Limited
    Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Limited
     
    ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER INFORMATION
    MINISTRY OF DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION, TOURISM & TRANSPORT (DAT&T)
    *Beneficiary ‘Short Name’ CIG TOURISM DAT&T
    Address 133 Elgin Avenue, Govt. Admin. Bldg. Grand Cayman
    Beneficiary Bank RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited
    Beneficiary Account Number KYD 06975 1126994
    USD 06975 2624450
    Beneficiary Account Type Chequeing
    Transit Number 06975
    Reference e.g. Tourist Accommodation Licensed Property Name, Period of payment
    *Beneficiary ‘Short Name’ name must be entered online as stated above
     
    ACH ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER MAXIMUM LIMIT
    An individual ACH transaction should not exceed USD 500, 000 or the KYD 400, 000 equivalent as per CIACH and/or Participant Bank Guidelines for standard ACH transactions. Clients can opt to:
    Do multiple transactions less than USD 500, 000 or KYD 400, 000 equivalent or pay by cheque/draft.
     
    Please contact your Bank to verify that the maximum amount does not supersede any lower daily digital transaction limit, which may have been set by the Participant Bank.
     
    CROSS CURRENCY
    Please ensure that the same currency is selected (paying/receiving), alternatively contact your Bank regarding cross currency transactions (e.g. funds sent in KYD but the receiving account is USD a/c and vice versa).
     
    Reminder
    Email a copy of executed direct deposit to ar@caymanislands.ky
     
    INCOMING WIRE INSTRUCTIONS
     
    U.S DOLLARS
    Intermediary Bank: J.P. Morgan Chase
    Intermediary Bank Address:
    1 Chase Manhattan Plaza
    New York, N.Y. 10081
    U.S.A.
    Swift Code: CHASUS33
    ABA #: 021 0000 21
    Beneficiary Bank: RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited
    Beneficiary Bank Address:
    24 Shedden Road, Royal Bank House
    P.O. Box 245
    Grand Cayman KY1-1104
    CAYMAN ISLANDS
    Swift Code: ROYCKYKY
    A/C # 001 1 153 103
     
    Beneficiary: Cayman Islands Government
    Name of Account: Ministry of District Administration, Tourism & Transport USD Executive Revenue
    Account #: 06975-2624450
     

    For physical payments:

    PHYSICAL DEPOSITS (CASH & CHEQUE)
    Funds may be remitted to the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) at the Royal Bank of Canada and Dropbox at the Government Administration Building (GAB) by a physical deposit of KYD & USD Cash and Cheque. ** Cash should not be placed in the Dropbox at GAB**
     
    The drop-box is now located under the security tent outside of the Government Administration Building. The department will not be accepting cash through the drop-box until further notice.
     
    KYD & USD Cash
    KYD & USD Cheques
    KYD & USD Bank Drafts
    US Overseas Cheques (Minimum of US$100.00)
    US Bank Draft & Money Orders (Minimum of US$100.00)
     
    For CI$ being paid by US$ cheque (divide @.82)
    For CI$ being paid by US$ cash (divide @.80)
    For US$ being paid by CI$ cheque (multiply @.82)
    For US$ being paid by CI$ cash (multiply @.80)
     
  • When does the license period begin?

    All apartments, cottages, guesthouses and villas must be licensed to operate on or before September 1st of each year. Hotels must be licensed on or before November 1st of each year.

  • I have submitted the application and paid the fee. What is my next step?

    Once you have submitted your application and paid the fee, your property will need to be inspected by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and the Cayman Islands Fire Services (CIFS).
     
    As a prospective licensee, you are responsible for booking an inspection with all three agencies. Contact information for all inspectors is listed below.
     
    DOT Inspectors:
    Grand Cayman

    Sister Islands  
    DEH Inspectors:
    Grand Cayman
    Apartments/Condos/Guesthouses/Villas  
    Hotels  
    Sister Islands  
    CIFS Inspectors:
    Grand Cayman/Sister Islands
  • Do I need to be present at time of inspection(s)?

    Yes, the owner and/or the property manager must be at the property during the time of the inspections.

  • Can the inspections be conducted when the unit/property is occupied by guests?

    No. To ensure that we do not inconvenience the guests, the inspections will need to be scheduled when your unit/property is not occupied.
  • Since I have submitted and paid the fee, am I allowed to operate as a tourist accommodation while I wait for the three inspections to be completed?

    No. Until a Tourism Accommodation License has been approved and issued by the Hotel Licensing Board (HLB), you are not allowed to operate or promote your property as a short-term rental to visitors.

  • My property failed an inspection from one, two or all of the three inspection agencies, what should I do?

    If your property fails an inspection(s), the inspector(s) will provide you with information on why your property failed. It is your responsibility to ensure that the issues are corrected in a timely manner and to contact the relevant inspector(s) to schedule a re-inspection of the property. The Hotel Licensing Board will not approve a license for your property to operate as a tourist accommodation unless the property passes all three inspections. As a reminder, you are not allowed to operate and promote your property as a short term rental to visitors until a Tourism Accommodation License has been approved and issued by the HLB.

  • 13. My property passed all three inspections, what is the next step?

    Once all inspections are complete and passed by all three agencies, the inspection reports are submitted to the HLB for review and approval of your Tourism Accommodation License.
     
    However, please note that even if your property has been inspected and passed by all three agencies, you are not licensed to operate until you receive your official license from the Hotel Licensing Board. 
     
    You should receive your license within four (4) weeks. If you have not, it means that something is wrong. Please contact DOT as soon as possible.

  • I have received my original license. What is the next step?

    Once you have received your original license, it must be immediately displayed in a conspicuous location inside the property.

  • Will my property need to be inspected by all three agencies on an annual basis?

    Yes. You are required to re-submit an application with the fees and have the necessary inspections conducted by DOT, DEH and CIFS on an annual basis. All annual inspections are conducted May 1st – August 31st for Apartments/Condos, Villas and Guesthouses and May 1st – September 15th for Hotels. To ensure that your property receives its license for the new period, we encourage you to submit your application and book your inspections no later than May 1st of each year.

  • Am I required to charge a Tourism Accommodation Tax for all visitors accommodated at my property?

    As a tourist accommodation operator/manager you are required by Law to charge a 13% Tourist Accommodation Tax for tourists accommodated, and remit the same with the appropriate documentation to the Department of Tourism no later than twenty-eight (28) days after the end of the month in which accommodation and services were provided.

    Please note that a tourist is classified as “a person, not ordinarily resident in the Islands, visiting the Islands and remaining therein continuously for a period not exceeding six months”. For further information please contact a member of the Department of Tourism’s Accounts Receivables Unit at 345-949-0623/345-2441261

  • What is the Monthly Tourism Accommodation Occupancy Report?

    Once you have been issued a Tourism Accommodation License, you are required by law to submit a monthly occupancy report before the 28th day of the following month. This report is due even if there are no occupants for the month. 

     The monthly occupancy reports can be mailed to:

    Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
    Government Administration Building Box 134
    133 Elgin Avenue
    Grand Cayman KY1-9000
    CAYMAN ISLANDS

  • What do I need to do if there is a change of Operator/Property Manager?

    If there is a change of operator for the property, a new application form will need to submitted and a fee of KY $250.00 must be paid. If there is a change of Property Manager, there are no fees associated with this change. However, a new application form that indicates this change must be submitted to DOT immediately.

  • What am I required to do if the Cayman Islands are affected by a natural disaster?

    If the Cayman Islands are impacted by a natural disaster, all Tourism Accommodation Licenses become null and void until all three agencies are able to inspect your property and confirm that it is safe for visitors and staff.

  • Will I need a Trade and Business License from the Department of Commerce and Investment if I have been approved for a Tourism Accommodation License?

    No. The Tourism Law (1995), Section (16) states that a Trade and Business License is not required in respect of tourist accommodations that are licensed under the Tourism Law.

  • How can I get my Tourism Accommodation posted on the Cayman Islands’ website?

    Properties are posted on the Cayman Island’s website within 1- 2 weeks after the license has been approved by the Board.

Related Documents

Accommodation Licensing Process

Licensing Forms and Sample Guides

Licensed Properties

Laws

Other Documents

Learn More