Barbados implements new tourist tax on hotels

Barbados, one of the popular holiday destinations, has implemented a mandatory “room rate levy” to all hotel bedrooms per night on the island effective from July 1, 2018.

The Ministry of Tourism and International Transport said that the levy will be paid by guests. It said the levy will be fully disclosed to guests through signage at the front desk, or by email or written correspondence in the absence of front desk facilities.

The new surcharge, which went into effect recently, is to raise money to reduce Barbados’ overwhelming deficit.

The additional fees range from US$2.50 to US$10 per room per night, depending on accommodation class. The money will be collected in the resort and is applicable to all existing bookings.

The new levy follows the introduction of an airline travel and tourism development fee of US$70 to be imposed on travelers leaving the country from Oct. 1, 2018, while Value Added Tax (VAT) in the tourism sector will rise from 7.5 percent to 15 percent in 2020.

Tourism contributes up to 40 percent of Barbados gross domestic product (GDP), the 14th highest percentage in the world.

The set of new taxes will hit the pockets of more than 200,000 British tourists who visit Barbados each year.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who came into power recently in a landslide victory in May, floated the taxes in her recent austerity budget last month.

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