Departure Tax To Be US$27.50
The Government of Barbados has a new plan for attracting tourists… double the airport departure tax to US$27.50. So after a nice Barbados vacation, the last thing a family of four would be given as a memory of the island would be a US$110 departure fee.
Yeah… that should bring them back in a hurry!
Adrian Loveridge of Peach & Quiet Hotel also has some thoughts about this latest government plan try and raise more tax revenues…
New Airport Departure Tax A Massive Mistake
If the report carried in the Weekend Nation of Friday November 10th, 2006 is correct and the airport departure tax is being increased by over 100 per cent to BDS$55 (US$27.50), it is in my opinion a massive mistake and a huge obstacle to stimulating the only market where Barbados has demonstrated consistent growth, intra regional travel.
You cannot simply dismiss the more than doubling of yet another tax by stating that our ‘service charge is the lowest in the region’, even if that statement was true.
Intra Caribbean travel is a vital source of business to Barbados and represents the third largest market. It is especially important to our small hotel sector which suffers one of the lowest average annual occupancy rates within the region.
Driving summer business is a vital key to the survival and upgrading environment of our hotel sector and this huge price hike to act as a severe deterrent to encouraging more Caribbean residents to holiday within in the region instead of flying off to Miami or New York.
With already sky-high airfares linking the comparatively short distances between Caribbean islands, those contemplating a long weekend to St. Martin, Martinique of St. Lucia will now be faced with being forced to pay over BDS$100 (US$50) in airport departures alone.
In many cases more than what many of our small hotels are obtaining as a nightly average room rate.
Governments must learn that there are only so many ways you can extract taxes. If the taxes are so high as to act as a reason not to travel to a destination, which is already perceived as expensive, then there will be no overall benefit to the national economy.
10 November 2006
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