Licensing & Inspections

 The Licencing 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 coziest guest house or condo, to our most prestigious hotels, the licencing and inspection team help present the best that the Cayman Islands has to offer when selecting accommodations.

Accommodation Licensing Process

Licensing Forms & Reports

Licensed Properties


Frequently Asked Questions About the Licensing Process

  1. Do I need a license to operate a short tem 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 in 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 ($100.00) per day in respect of every tourist to whom such accommodation is provided or offered.”
  2. Who is responsible for licensing tourism accommodations in the Cayman Islands?The Hotel Licensing Board (HLB) is responsible for issuing Tourism Accommodation Licenses. The Board is responsible for ensuring that the standards of all properties are in compliance with the Tourism Law (1995).
  3. How do I apply for a tourism accommodation license?Whether you are operating single apartment/guesthouse with one bedroom or a large hotel with multiple rooms, you’ll need to complete and submit an application to the Department of Tourism along with the necessary fee.For your convenience, the application forms (Application License Form and Capacity Data Form) are located above the frequently asked questions on this page.
  4. What is the fee to license a tourism accommodation in the Cayman Islands and is it required for all tourism accommodations?Yes. Whether you are operating a single apartment/guesthouse with one bedroom or a large hotel with multiple rooms you are required to pay the application fee. Details of the application fees are provided below.Fees:   1 - 10 Bedrooms = KYD$ 250.00   Over 10 Bedrooms – KYD$ 250.00 plus KYD$25.00 for every Bedroom over 10 Bedrooms
  5. Are the fees associated with the application a one-time fee?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, 2015 of each year. Hotels must be licensed before November 1st of each year.
  6. Where do I submit my application form and fees?Application submission and fees can be paid at the Department of Tourism’s office which is located on the 3rd floor of the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue.Application submission and fees for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman’s properties can be paid at the District Administration office located in Cayman Brac.Alternatively, if paying by cheque, the completed application form along with a cheque made payable to the Cayman Islands Government can be mailed to:   Cayman Islands Department of Tourism   Government Administration Building Box 134   133 Elgin Avenue   Grand Cayman KY1-9000   CAYMAN ISLANDS
  7. 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.
  8. 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 CaymanApartments/Condos/Guesthouses/Villas Hotels Sister Islands CIFS Inspectors:Grand Cayman/Sister Islands
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 HLB, you are not allowed to operate or promote your property as a short term rental to visitors.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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 / 345-244-1261 or scorpus@caymanislands.ky and/or ar@caymanislands.ky.
    9. What is the Monthly Tourism Accommodation Occupancy Report?Once you have been issued a Tourism Accommodation License, you are required 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 emailed to occupancy@caymanislands.ky or can be mailed to:   Cayman Islands Department of Tourism   Government Administration Building Box 134   133 Elgin Avenue   Grand Cayman KY1-9000   CAYMAN ISLANDS
    10. 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 KYD$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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    If you require further information, please contact the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism at 345-949-0623.