Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Commentary: Tourism Matters: Another implementation deficit?
Published on April 21, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Adrian Loveridge

When government announced last year that it was passing a bill to allow the lowering of value added tax (VAT) to 7.5 percent for qualifying hospitality partners, my initial thought was that it was a wonderful opportunity to at least partially address the frequently quoted high costs of our tourism product.

Adrian Loveridge has spent 46 years in the tourism industry across 67 countries, as a travel agent, tour director, tour operator and for the last 24 years as a small hotel owner on Barbados. He served as a director of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and as chairman of the Marketing Committee. He also served as a director of the Barbados Tourism Authority and is a frequent writer on tourism issues
The criteria did not appear too ominous. That the entity had to be registered with, or has a licence from the Barbados Tourism Authority, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association or Small Hotels of Barbados Inc; it was in compliance with all statutory obligations of the Income Tax, NIS and Social Securities Act and was able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the comptroller; and generates at least 75 percent of total earnings annually in a foreign currency.

As, certainly in our 26 year experience, the vast majority of guests pay via credit card, I would not have thought this was difficult to verify.

These imposed conditions would seem quite reasonable and for most attainable.

Why then have so few seemingly eligible tourism partners registered successfully and applied the lower rate of VAT. After all, 10 percent of the final cost to the consumer is not an insubstantial reduction.

Looking at menus posted on the websites of many of our hotels with in-house restaurants or stand alone establishments 17.5 percent VAT is still shown, which includes some of the big names and, unless they have yet to be updated, state owned accommodation providers are included in this.

Interestingly, this applies even to businesses where their owners or managers sit on the board of the national marketing authority.

So what has gone wrong?

Is this once again a case of implementation deficit?

Originally the measure was announced in the 2013 budget submission, so does it really take so long to process registration applications?

Minister of Finance Sinckler stated during that presentation the concession would cost the Treasury $9 million annually across the entire sector, or roughly the same amount that Sandals Barbados would avoid in VAT payment for the same period when re-opened.

You only have to go onto the Barbados Forum section of TripAdvisor to quickly gauge that price or what is perceived by many of our visitors is less than value-for-money, is one, if not the most discussed topic.

As we enter the long eight-month softer summer season, the cost of our tourism offerings is going to become even more critical to final destination choice. Certainly the current high value of sterling against the Barbados dollar, reaching within 3 cents of a four year high recently, is helping make us more attractive to the ‘Brits’.

But this also applies to many other holiday offerings around the world.

While welcome, the benefits from the amendment to the distance band of the APD (advanced passenger duty) will not have any meaningful effect until almost a year from now.

And this will be largely diminished during the next twelve months after British Airways’ decision to hike many Caribbean airfares by GBP10 per ticket with immediate effect, with Virgin Atlantic expected to follow.
Reads: 2775

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Carson C. Cadogan:

Adrian, here is an article about your beloved St. Lucia Tourism Industry.

You know you are always saying, and wrongly so, that St. Lucia is doing far better than Barbados.

St. Lucia made that list with flying colours.


Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Enter Code

Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g.,,, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Caribbean Writer 2014

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: