Tourism Minister Richard Sealy says the 25-year tax holiday given to Sandals International is above board and is not exclusive to the Jamaican hotel chain.
Speaking after the first scheduled flight of Thomas Cook into Barbados yesterday evening, Sealy said any other all-inclusive hotel which is making a heavy investment can get the same concessions.
Sandals, run by Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, opened its doors at the former Couples Resort (previously Almond Casuarina) in Dover, Christ Church last week and will also be opening a new resort at the former Almond Beach Village in St Peter.
It has been given a 25-year tax holiday that includes a waiver on all import duties, taxes, impost and levies on capital goods such as building materials, as well as food, alcohol and beverages.
The waiver also extends to duties on the importation of motor vehicles and personal and household effects for senior hotel staff and non-Barbadian workers.
When the 25-year tax holiday is ended, the rate on concessions to Sandals will be cut by 50 per cent for an additional 15 years.