‘Hotels may have to close’
Some hotels in Barbados may be forced out of business if they are not given the same concessions handed to the Sandals group.
The prediction was made yesterday by Sue Springer, the executive vice president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), as she called on Government to “level the playing field” on taxation in the hotel sector.
Speaking during a news conference at the BHTA’s Belleville, St Michael office, Springer said that although the association welcomed the Sandals brand to Barbados because of the associated potential benefits, its introduction here would only be “positive as a whole if, and only if, the operating playing field is level”.
Springer questioned the decision to offer exclusive duty free breaks to food and beverage items for all-inclusive properties valued at $500 million and above. Of the ten existing all-inclusive properties, none of them would qualify for the concessions, she said.
“So effectively the Government has created a ring fence around this group unless of course all of the all-inclusive hotels can apply to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs under (the Duties Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act) Cap 67B for special concessions,” the hotel executive said.