Credit where credit is due.
I commend the Government for lowering the rate of VAT on ‘hotel accommodation’ and especially extending the same 7.5 per cent to the Direct Tourism Services. This should relate to meaningful savings for our visitors and even, to a lesser degree, help encourage domestic tourism.
From the various social media sites it is already clear that regular repeat guests will be watching very carefully that all tourism partners benefiting from the reduced tax level will pass it on.
Restaurant dining, car rental, reduced attraction entrance fees, activities like catamaran cruises etc., will all be more affordable and hopefully the overall spend will not fall significantly across the board. The critical element now is to get this improved value for money into the market places, by every means possible.
Linking particular months with events, especially in the longer leaner periods, at first makes logical sense – but I think this concept has to be constantly analysed, to ensure any national ‘investment’ is proven to be cost effective.
This year with Crop Over is a classic example. Despite all the predictions and post event accolades, July 2013 recorded the lowest number of long stay visitor arrivals across the last 11 years in any same month.
Last week I touched on our tourism performance in September 2012, so today I wanted to cover land based arrivals for the same year in October and November. Both again, alarmingly recorded their lowest comparable monthly figures during the past decade. Continue reading