Published on : Tuesday, July 3, 2018
“We recognise the challenges facing countries, but it is our duty to point out that taxing for additional revenue may have a reverse effect as tourists may choose not to travel to or within the Caribbean and instead select other destinations because of the high cost of our destinations,” stated CHTA’s Director General and CEO Frank Comito said in a statement.
On Friday, Comito was delivering a speech at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Aviation Day conference in Barbados, sponsored by IATA, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association.
At the conference, reports shared by IATA and the CDB strengthened the significance of strategies which can stimulate travel into and within the region.
The CDB and IATA highlighted high aviation taxes and fees, regulatory barriers and operational deficiencies as kind of obstacle in stimulating more travel, and by extension economic growth.
In conflict against rising travel taxes, Comito challenged that in such a case, not only would the government will witness fewer tax revenues, local businesses would also suffer.
Comito contended,”High upfront taxes also typically adversely affect on-island spending by visitors who do come. They will either opt for shorter stays or spend less on activities, restaurants, and attractions to offset the additional cost”.
He gave an example that the region witnessed this happen in 2010 and the immediate years when UK forced large duties on travelers to, from and through their country.
“As the cost of family travel increased by hundreds of dollars, travel demand declined, impacting net tax revenue and employment in those Caribbean destinations which had a high percentage of UK-based and transient traveller’s,” he said.