How to Get DOT Accreditation for Your Airbnb Condo Unit in the Philippines

The Department of Tourism (DOT) mandates Airbnb condo units to secure accreditation, aligning with the Tourism Act of 2009. This involves multiple steps and costs. Before DOT accreditation, hosts must obtain a business permit. Compliance is essential, ensuring a level playing field in the industry.

How to Get DOT Accreditation for Your Airbnb Condo Unit in the Philippines
DOT: All Airbnb properties must pay taxes fairly and legally.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has introduced an accreditation system for Airbnb condo units, as mandated by the Tourism Act of 2009. Airbnb hosts should follow this requirement to align with DOT-accredited accommodations.

The Department of Tourism has just recently released the Updated Guidelines on the Progressive Accreditation System, which is the rules governing the accreditation of primary tourism enterprises, such as hotels, resorts, travel and tour agencies, among others. In simple terms, primary tourism enterprises are tourism businesses that are directly linked to the tourism value chain and the overall tourist experience. Under the Tourism Act of 2009, primary tourism enterprises are obliged to secure accreditation from the Department of Tourism prior to the issuance of a business permit.
Depending on the type of property you are letting on Airbnb, you may apply for DOT accreditation as a hotel, resort, Mabuhay accommodation, or homestay, as long as the property meets the prescribed physical and documentary requirements. Here are the guidelines.

Source: Department of Tourism Central Visayas (Email:

Getting DOT accreditation for condo units (classified as Mabuhay accommodations) involves several steps and requirements:

Basic Requirements:

  • Valid Mayor's Permit or Business Permit
  • Valid Comprehensive Liability Insurance Policy (minimum coverage of P100,000 for individual condo units)
  • Contract allowing the unit's commercial use (for individual condo units)

Additional Requirements for Regular or Premium Accreditation:

  • Proof of employee training (in customer service, housekeeping, front office services, food and beverage services, or food production for renewal applicants)
  • Recognitions or awards from reputable institutions

To apply, submit the necessary documents to the local DOT Regional Office. An inspection will determine compliance, and if successful, you'll receive a DOT accreditation certificate.

The costs are as follows:

  • Basic Accreditation: P1000
  • Regular Accreditation: P1400
  • Premium Accreditation: P3000

DOT accreditation is valid for three years, with renewal requirements similar to the initial application.

Benefits of DOT accreditation for condo unit owners include increased visibility on the DOT website, improved guest confidence due to meeting standards, and access to government benefits like tax breaks and marketing assistance.

Airbnb hosts in the Philippines should consider DOT accreditation, especially if they have multiple listings. While it's not a simple process, it's mandated and essential for compliance.

However, DOT accreditation is not the first step for Airbnb hosts. You need to secure a business or mayor's permit, which involves:

For Corporations and Partnerships:

  • Register with the SEC or DTI
  • Register with the BIR
  • Complete BIR Form 1903 and submit it with supporting documents
  • Pay the Annual Registration Fee and Documentary Stamp Tax (DST)

For Sole Proprietorships:

  • Register with the DTI
  • Obtain Barangay Business Clearance
  • Get a Mayor's Permit
  • Pay the registration fee and DST

Once registered with DTI or SEC and BIR, you can apply for a local business permit.

In summary, Airbnb hosts in the Philippines should navigate a series of legal steps, including DOT accreditation and obtaining necessary permits, to operate their businesses compliantly. While it may seem complex and discouraging for some, these processes are essential for both legality and fairness in the industry.

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