The entire tourism industry is about to get a wider range of tax concessions.
Ten months after announcing that concessions given to Jamaican hotel chain Sandals would be extended to other hotels investing at least $500 million in the all-inclusive segment of the market, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy today said that threshold will be removed.
He told Parliament that changes in the Tourism Development Act to facilitate the granting of concessions to the entire sector are in “the final stages” in the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
“I am told that within two weeks we should finally have those concessions,” he said, as he introduced a resolution to compulsorily acquire the 58 acres of land on which Sam Lord’s Castle is located.
Sealy reported that since the granting of concessions, there has been increased interest in domestic investment in the sector.
“We want to see more of the players in tourism and outside of tourism – the captains of industry in business in Barbados – invest in tourism. We have seen a little movement in that regard,” he said.
The minister also disclosed that the Ministry of Finance and the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. have before them, for consideration, two branded hotels in the Lower Bay Street area.
He said the project is led by local groups and does not involve Government funding.
Also referring to efforts by agroup of local business magnates to purchase the 130-room Sandy Bay Beach Club, and the Amaryllis Beach Resort being bought by local businessman Gordon Seale who operates Calypso Caribbean Resorts, Sealysuggested that Government’s efforts to remove imposts on tourism inputs and instead tax outputs may have encouraged the increased interest.
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