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.
Address By Nicola Madden Greig,
President, Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association
At The Official Opening & Welcome Reception For Japex 2016
Montego Bay Convention Centre
Friday, April 29 2016
I am pleased to welcome you to this 26th annual staging of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) where the industry comes together with stakeholders to network, take stock of the progress we've made and to brainstorm about some of the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.while it is not the first time that JAPEX is being held at this time of the year, the decision to move from our September date was taken to allow partners greater opportunity to target both the summer and fall season and more importanly the up-coming winter season.