Barbados Today

Tax ease

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has announced a reduction in fees associated with travel within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for a six-month period starting July 1, 2023.
This move to reduce the travel tax from $37.50 to $20, will cost Government $2.2 million in revenue.
Mottley said the short-term initiative will be in place until December 15: “It is meant to be a specific tax reduction to help boost the travel to where it used to be before.”
She indicated, “Notice will be given to IATA [International Air Transport Association] to ensure that we are in compliance with having this happen from July 1,” said Mottley.
During her 2023 Budget presentation on Tuesday, Mottley also indicated that her government will be extending $5 million to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) for an advertising campaign aimed at boosting regional summer business in an effort to avoid a repeat of the dismal summer tourism season experienced last year.
In addition, she said that Barbados had managed to get its major airline partners to increase seat capacity for the upcoming summer.
Acknowledging that last summer was “not the greatest” for tourism arrivals for this island, Mottley said “We intend this year to target, strategically, the slow summer period as an area of growth.”
Mottley also noted, “While other destinations will experience reduced airlift, this summer, Barbados will maintain its daily service with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from London. Similarly, other airlines have put on special marketing campaigns for Europe taking advantage of the connectivity out of Heathrow,” she said.
“We are also, however, going to ensure that the BTMI can have a massive supporting advertising campaign with its airline partners. In addition to the resources already held by the Barbados Tourism and Marketing agency, which is in excess of $20 million, we will add a further $5 million to allow them to manage marketing and air support not for this summer alone, but for this and future summers, because it takes time to be able to sustain marketing,” said Mottley.
She noted that Air Antilles will expand its service from three days per week to daily between St Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Caribbean Airlines was also expected to increase its service between Trinidad, Guyana, St Lucia and Barbados, she added.
“Inter-Caribbean has already started flights from St Kitts & Nevis and we believe there will be additional services to St Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, St Vincent and Guyana, and yes indeed, Jamaica. The expanded services, I am told, will result in an additional 37 800 seats to Barbados from our Caribbean neighbours,” said Mottley.
The slow summer period has been an area of grave concern for the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), which reported last week that forward bookings were disappointing.
Mottley said she was hoping the BHTA would “join” with the BTMI to “create the appropriate packages” to ensure that the increased airlift is “fully exploited” by all who want to resume travel in the Caribbean.
She announced that Babados was expecting to increase its airlift out of the US market during the summer with American Airlines offering double, daily service from Miami and JetBlue offering the same from New York.
“This will bring an additional 12 000 seats when compared to 2022,” she said.
“There will also be more business out of Canada. The number of flights will increase from three days per week last year, to a daily service for the summer,” she announced.
During her Budget presentation dubbed “Mission Transformation”, Mottley challenged tourism industry officials to refresh the island’s tourism offering.
“Transformation is not just about ushering in the new. It is also about innovating what you have and product quality audits and feedback from the travel trade market suggest that we have to reinvigorate Barbados’ tourism plant,” she declared.
“We need to do better. It is therefore critical if we are to retain our competitiveness and our product quality as a destination while commanding a higher average daily rate. But as we do it, greening, digitization, training and synergies with our agricultural, manufacturing and cultural sectors are key to a reinvigorated Barbados tourism product,” said Mottley.
With the shortage of hospitality workers continuing to affect the sector, Mottley said it was time for industry operators to have the “difficult discussions”.
“I want to urge hotel owners and managers, along with workers, under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Tourism and their workers’ representatives to put aside a special day for a colloquium to discuss heart-to-heart, the issues that may be impacting our getting the best out of this industry because of a failure to appreciate the efforts of each other,” she said.
[email protected]

Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.

Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.

Get inspired to travel around Barbados by signing up to our  newsletter.

Barbados Today firmly discourages any commentary or statements that are libelous, disruptive in nature or incites others to violate our Terms of Use. Any submissions made on our comment section, are solely the views of the individual and not Barbados Today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content