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Minister unveils concessions to benefit Jamaica holiday sector

  • 08-Jun-11 16:09
  • Jamaica
  • Caribbean News Digital

Jamaica's Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has revealed further information about the new waiver and concession package which will be awarded to ground motor vehicles that are used within the Jamaica holidays industry for tourism sector purposes.

Minister unveils concessions to benefit Jamaica holiday sector

Jamaican companies operating motor vehicles within the tourism sector could soon see changes to the duties charged after Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett revealed further details about the new waiver and concession package which will be granted to the tourism ground transportation sector.

During the 50th Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) which took place in Ocho Rios, St Ann last week, Bartlett announced that the current discretionary waiver and import quota would be replaced by a more efficient system which will speed up the waiver application process.

Those companies operating motor vehicles in the Jamaica holidays and tourism sector will now be able to apply to the Ministry of Tourism for waivers and these applications will then be passed onto the Jamaica Customs Department for approval.

The new waiver and concessions package will enable car rental companies to benefit from a 10 per cent drop in the 30 per cent duty that they currently pay, allowing them to provide more competitive car hire prices for tourists taking holidays in Jamaica.

Bartlett explained that no GCT would be payable on motor vehicles with engines smaller than 2.0 cc for petrol and 2.2 cc for diesel.
He added: "Buses with 15-24 seats imported by dealers will attract no duty for either petrol or diesel units, while those imported by individuals will attract five per cent for petrol units and no duty on diesel units.”

The Tourism Minister addressed other issues during his speech including a new task force which is being headed by the president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Josef Forstmayr. The task force will look at issues that are affecting the Jamaica holidays industry including visa problems, regulations and legislation.

"I need that guidance to formulate the new policy drive for the next 20 years. That committee, when its work is done, will complement the Don Wehby committee, which is now doing the economic impact study of tourism on Jamaica's economy," Bartlett said.

Bartlett also announced that the recent $10 increase in head tax for travellers visiting Jamaica will be spent be spent on stronger marketing campaigns. These campaigns will be aimed at attracting tourists from emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, Indonesia and China; which will result in higher visitor arrivals and increased occupancy levels for Jamaica hotels and resorts.

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