Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance and Planning has announced a revised tax package for the island’s tourism industry. This follows negotiations between the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) and representatives from both the Ministries of Finance and Planning and Tourism and Entertainment.
While the General Consumption Tax (GCT) rate for tourism will remain at 10 percent, all arriving visitors will be required to pay a US$20 fee to be included in the ticket cost, effective August 1, 2012. The agreement will also see the introduction of a new daily accommodation tax of US$1 for properties with less than 51 rooms, US$2 for hotels with 51-100 rooms, and US$4 for hotels with 101 rooms and above, effective September 1, 2012. Currently, unlike most destinations, hotels in Jamaica do not charge an accommodation tax.
Jamaica’s Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, commended the JHTA and other stakeholders for finalizing a workable compromise to previously proposed tax rates. Minister McNeill is convinced that these measures provide a win-win situation and will ensure that the country meets its revenue targets while protecting the tourism industry, especially small properties.
“The measures were arrived at in a spirit of cooperation and were approached with the aim of an outcome that is beneficial to all parties involved,” noted Evelyn Smith, President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association.