Finance Minister Chris Sinckler (second right) and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, in discussion with hotelier Gordon 'Butch' Stewart during a recent tour of Sandals Barbados. In the background are Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy (left) and BTI CEO Stuart Layne. (C. Pitt/BGIS)
By Julie Carrington
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- Hoteliers in Barbados will get much needed tax concessions to assist them with upgrading their properties soon – a move that will transform the sector for generations to come and shift the way business is done in the industry.
Minister of finance and economic affairs, Christopher Sinckler, made this disclosure recently during a press conference after a tour of the Sandals Barbados operation.
He told the media: “The concessions which people talked about they will get them. In fact, I spoke with Minister Sealy and we agreed that… we will try to get that out. We live in an instant coffee society… Everybody wants things done now [but] my thing is not to do things now, but to do things properly.”
Sinckler further stated: “What we are going to do for hoteliers in Barbados, for tourism operators, is not a transient waving of the pen or signing of the Minister of Finance under 67 (b) of the Income Tax Act. The concessions Sandals got, all the others will get, but they will get it permanently, in permanent legislation that they call on each and every time they require it instead, rather than having to write to the minister of finance every other time they are doing upgrades.”
He said the aid package for the tourism sector “took a little longer than we wanted”, but “when it is delivered there is no second guessing about what is being delivered, and we expect confidently that it will shift this industry around in a way that people have not seen for many, many years”.