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[sustainable-tourism] Fwd: Travel tax hike comes into effect

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  • Bruce Potter at Island Resources
    ... best wishes bruce potter =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= ... -- -- -- -- -- -- Island Resources Foundation -- -- -- -- --
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 1999
      >From: aduncan@...
      >Sender: "sidsnet-tourism-newswire mailinglist (owner)"
      ><owner-tourism-newswire@...>
      >Date: 3 Jun 1999 00:16:09 GMT
      >X-User-Info: 208.209.58.65 208.209.58.65
      >To: tourism-newswire@...
      >Subject: Travel tax hike comes into effect
      >
      >Jamaica Gleaner June 2, 1999
      >
      >Travel tax hike comes into effect
      >
      > THE HIKE in departure tax from $750 to $1,000 came into
      > effect yesterday despite pleas from the tourist sector for
      > Finance Minister, Dr. Omar Davies, to forego the increase.
      >
      > It comes at the start of the summer season when thousands
      > of Jamaicans use the long school break to take their
      > families abroad on vacation.
      >
      > The Financial Gleaner reported on April 30 that Government
      > was being urged by the Jamaica Association of Travel
      > Agents (JATA) and other tourism groups to review the new
      > travel tax announced in April.
      >
      > Tourism interests were quick to voice their disapproval of the
      > tax rise.
      >
      > The Jamaica Labour Party's spokesman on Tourism and the
      > Environment, Ed Bartlett, reiterated his call for the
      > Government to have a "fresh look on the total tax package
      > levied on the tourist to the country."
      >
      > He said the decision by Government to increase the
      > departure tax to $1,000 or US$26 per person, coupled with a
      > room tax of 6.5 per cent, service charge of 12 per cent and a
      > US$15 cruise head tax, makes the Jamaican tourist the
      > most heavily taxed in the entire region of 27 countries.
      >
      > In the case of the Bahamas, departure tax is US$15, room
      > tax 10 per cent, service charge 15 per cent and cruise head
      > tax US$15. In Barbados, departure tax is US$13, room tax
      > 7.5 per cent, service charge 15 per cent and cruise head tax
      > US$6.
      >
      > Cuba charges US$20 for departure tax and there are no
      > other charges, while the Dominican Republic charges
      > US$10 for departure tax, 13 per cent for room tax, a 10 per
      > cent service charge and no cruise head tax.
      >
      > Chairman of Air Jamaica and of Sandals Resorts
      > International Gordon "Butch" Stewart also chided the
      > Government for its "unreasonable" increase on the departure
      > tax.
      >
      > "We are already the single highest departure tax of any
      > country in the world, now we are trying to be twice as high.
      > It is going to restrict business especially for those who travel
      > as a group," he said.
      >
      > JATA asked Government to consider a reduction against the
      > background of a previous increase and unofficial slippage of
      > the dollar which was pushing air fares upward.
      >
      > However, a Ministry of Finance spokesman said on Monday
      > that the Ministry was unaware of any official or other
      > representation to the Minister regarding a stay in the
      > implementation of the tax hike. The increase would go
      > through as recorded in the Ministry paper.
      >
      > Dr. Davies told the House of Representa-tives in April that
      > the tax was being moved from $750 to $1,0000 in a bid to
      > raise $350 million for Government coffers.
      >
      > In the Financial Gleaner report of April 30, JATA president,
      > Janice Collins, said," It is an unnecessary burden for
      > travellers. We are already at one of the highest travel taxes
      > in the world."
      >
      > JATA was concerned that there was a shift away from the
      > original idea of a tax on travel aimed to support the upgrade
      > of airport facilities and towards develeoping a source of
      > revenue for Government.
      >
      > Government now gets tax from the trade in the form of
      > stamp duty amounting to $600 on each ticket costing more
      > than $10,000 and $400 on a ticket costing less than
      > $10,000.
      >
      > Children under two years of age are exempt from the
      > departure tax.
      >
      > Miss Collins said that though customers had not yet reacted
      > to the news of the increase. It would come home to them
      > when travellers were called upon to pay the tax as it came
      > into effect.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >To post a submission please email tourism-newswire@...

      best wishes

      bruce potter

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
      > 27 Years of Environmental Service to Small Tropical Islands <
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