MIAMI -- Jamaican
authorities will impose new tourism-enhancement fees on all
arriving air and cruise passengers, beginning May 1.
The fees -- $10
per air traveler and $2 per cruise passenger -- will be levied in
addition to the countrys existing $16 departure tax, and will be
rolled into air and cruise ticket prices.
the Jamaica Tourist Boards director of tourism, said the fees will
raise capital for the maintenance and improvement of tourism
tax monies, which end up in general government revenue, the
tourism-enhancement fees will be deposited in a tourism-specific
account to be administered by a designated task force or
Its an attempt to
ensure sustainability, Pennicook said.
One of the first
projects likely to be funded will be the beautification of major
complaints about an additional financial burden on the industry,
Tourism Minister Aloun N'dombet Assamba said that the government is
not taxing the hoteliers, attraction owners or the Jamaican people.
On the other hand, private tourism concerns will not receive grants
or subsidies from the new fund.
Asked if the
additional fees put Jamaica at a competitive disadvantage compared
with other Caribbean destinations, Pennicook said the enhancement
fee and departure tax combined still add up to less than other
islands departure taxes.
At 1,000 Jamaican
dollars, currently $16 U.S., our departure tax is actually one of
the lower ones in the region, he said. In theory, all weve done is
take the tax back to what it was before the devaluation of the
Jamaican dollar, when 1,000 [Jamaican dollars] was worth about $25
On the down side,
Pennicook said some tour operators may have to cover the fee for
clients who have already paid for vacations starting after May
Air Jamaica said
it would begin adding the tourism tax to its fares on April
reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].