JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has said that it was not because of indecisiveness why CARICOM has not agreed to implement any of the possible funding programmes for marketing the Caribbean as a generic destination.
He pointed out that these financing options include a budgetary provision from respective countries, or a tax on airline tickets. “That’s something we have been wrestling for quite some time. Bear in mind (that) a number of countries, including ourselves (and) the Bahamas, because of the impact of the global crisis, have already had to dip our hands into that tourism pool of market, and we have had to extract more revenue from it, more taxes,” he explained.
Mr. Golding, who is the new Chairman of CARICOM, was speaking at the closing press conference on the final day (July 7) of the 31st Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James.
He noted, for example, that the Bahamas had been compelled to impose a significant increase in taxes on arriving passengers to meet budgetary expenses.
“We are at a point where were have virtually exhausted the capacity of air tickets to absorb any more taxes. Now would not be an appropriate time for us to go and visit more taxes on them,” he asserted.
Additionally, Mr. Golding pointed out that the imposition of the APD in Britain was already impacting the flow of tourists coming from and going through Britain.
“Some countries felt that we need to keep working on it. We remain committed, and we will have to determine whether we can get through this period of fiscal crisis, to the point where we can either make a budgetary provision, or (are able to) tweak a little bit more revenue out of incoming passengers. We have to work on an appropriate way to do it,” Mr. Golding said.

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