The Upper House of Parliament in Antigua on Wednesday, December 18 approved the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill 2019.
Consequently, with the passage of the Bill, the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel Accommodation tax has been raised by one per cent. The old room tax was 8.5 per cent.
Earlier this month, the Bill was passed in the Lower House of Parliament with unanimous agreement from the Members of Parliament.
Government officials gave as their reason for the amendment, the government’s need to assist the Ministry of Tourism with its marketing and promotional efforts. The Bill will be gazetted soon.
Antigua & Barbuda also has a US$28.00 (EC$70.00) airport departure tax.
Meanwhile, the government of Barbados has also been implementing new levies with the aim of reducing its fiscal deficit.
The first charge was a mandatory hotel room rate levy, introduced in 2018- last year. The tax ranges from Bds$2.50 (£1.90) to Bds$10 (£7.60) per room per night, depending on accommodation class.
The second tax is an airline travel and tourism development fee of Bds$70 (£53), which is now charged to travellers leaving the country.
Coming next year will be a third tax, an increased Value Added Tax (VAT) in the tourism sector, which will rise from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent in 2020.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley who introduced the taxes in her austerity budget is hoping they will help address the country’s deficit where Tourism contributes up to 40 per cent of Barbados’s GDP.
Comparatively, in Jamaica, the government imposes a 10 per cent to 15 per cent room tax, depending on the category of hotel. Travellers are charged a US$37 departure tax at the airport and there is a 20 per cent government tax on rental cars.
In Trinidad and Tobago, accommodation tax per room per night is TT$10. In 2017, revenue generated from hotel room rentals in Trinidad and Tobago has crossed the half a billion dollar mark for the fifth consecutive year. Hotel Room Tax is directly applied at a rate of 10 per cent to the proceeds from letting out rooms at hotels comprising six or more rooms.