Statement on Proposed Increase in Departure Tax
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association has expressed concern about the proposed increase in the departure tax following the announcement by the Minister of Finance and Public Service, the Honourable Audley Shaw at yesterday's 2016/17 Budget Presentation.
The proposed move from US$20.00 to US$35 represents a 75% increase and the JHTA has sought urgent dialogue with the Government regarding both the level of the increase and the proposed implementation schedule. According to a recent survey conducted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association on (CHTA) on ticket taxes and charges, Jamaica currently has the highest taxes and fees on airline tickets when compared to other islands in the region.
While the JHTA understands what the tax break means for the many employees in tourism and other sectors of the economy, the Association stated that we must ensure that the industry maintains its competitive advantage and that there will be no impediment to its future growth.
The Association commits to working with the Government to achieve the country's critical growth agenda and is hopeful that the requested discussions will yield the most viable outcome.