By F. Martin
TTC Service.- The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) warned that the application of higher taxes and price increases in the commercial air will scare away tourists fron the region.
Comito said while Caribbean tourist arrivals have grown in recent years, the region continues to lose global market share and growth within the islands.
“We recognise the challenges facing countries, but it is our duty to point out that taxing for additional revenue may have a reverse effect as tourists may choose not to travel to or within the Caribbean” said CHTA’s director general and chief executive officer Frank Comito.
“Instead they could select other destinations because of the high cost of our destinations”, Comit added.
In such a case, the expert also warned that not only would the governments see fewer tax revenues, but local businesses would likely suffer.
“They will either opt for shorter stays or spend less on activities, restaurants and attractions to offset the additional cost” Comito said.
The region saw this happen in 2010 and the immediate years following, as the United Kingdom imposed large duties on travelers to, from and through their country.
“As the cost of family travel increased by hundreds of dollars, travel demand declined, impacting net tax revenue and employment in those Caribbean destinations, which had a high percentage of UK-based and transient travelers,” he said.