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Duties ease for tourism

mialisafenty, [email protected]

Duties ease for tourism

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MINISTER OF TOURISM Richard Sealy says plans are being put in place to have tourism treated as an export industry.
This means that all inputs “within reason” would be free from import duties or taxes.
Speaking on Saturday night during the official opening of Infinity On The Beach hotel in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, the minister said it was not a simple process but creative and “progressive” approaches were needed in the sector.
“Only this week there were meetings held with the representative bodies of the manufacturers and the agriculturalists because, obviously, they are baulking at the thought of allowing that; but we believe if we can set the appropriate mechanism in place where they are given the opportunity to supply the sector first, then obviously you can resort to importing.”
Sealy also said new private sector investments in The Gap, stretching from Pisces Restaurant to Sandals (Barbados) Resort and Spa, had necessitated a similar commitment from Government.
He said ongoing repair of the boardwalk was just the start of work to be done.
“We have to get the street lighting in order. We have to get this Dover market fixed as well . . . . We’re going to, in these tough times, find the resources to do the simple things to make the difference. I had to . . . lobby hard to get the relevant Government agencies to do it but I felt that fair is fair.
“If you see the private sector coming up to the mark, taking risks and investing, then obviously the public sector should do likewise . . . .”
Sealy lauded general manager of Infinity On The Beach, Renee Coppin, for investing in the former Escape At The Gap property that had been closed for some time.
“I think this is a very fine example and gives testimony to precisely what we would like to see more of in Barbados.
“In fact, in these times now where people may be a little tentative about taking risks, to see a young Barbadian come forward and do a project like this is indeed very wonderful,” he said.