JHTA to Host 55th Annual General Meeting

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association(JHTA) will host its fifty fifth annual general meeting at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort on Saturday, June 11. The event is open to all members of the association and will also have elections for the Presidency and senior executive positions.

"The JHTA continues to provide a dynamic collaborative environment with our private and public sector partners that works in the best interests of our members and ultimately the tourism industry. We are optimistic about the continued growth of tourism and will continue our efforts in this regard" said Nicola Madden-Greig.

The JHTA'S senior management team will present an overview of successes over the past year, as well as highlight strategies for future growth and profitability. Scheduled speakers are the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Paul Pennicook Director of Tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board, guest speaker the Hon. Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for the Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investment portfolios and Ian Neita, CEO of Global Directories.

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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.