Tour operators believe tax hikes will damage arrivals
Tour operators have warned that planned tourism tax increases in the Maldives and Jamaica will harm tourist arrivals. The Maldives aims to increase its General Sales Tax from 3.5 percent to 6 percent from January 1, leading to what the director of the UK luxury operator Chic Locations thinks will be a “sharp” fall in UK arrivals there next year. The Maldivian government is planning to raise the tax again in 2013 to 10 percent. The move could lead some tour operators to focus instead on cheaper destinations such as Mauritius. However, other operators believe that the increase will not worry high-end clients.
A tourism tax on visiting Jamaica is likely to come into force in October, rising from $10 to $20. The visitor arrival tax is added to airline tickets, collected by IATA and then passed to the Jamaican government to go towards improving tourism areas.
[pictured: Filitheyo island beach]