By Linda Straker
Tourist guides, taxi drivers and tour operators are among 5 new categories of tourism stakeholders who are now required to obtain a license from the Grenada Tourism Authority to operate within the sector.
With an annual fee that ranges between EC$100 and $300 for the new stakeholders, some of them felt that it was the wrong time to commence the fees. Some did not have to obtain a license to offer their service within the sector but only need to comply with national regulations or standards for operating.
“So for example, those persons who walk around the town offering walking tours to visitors, they will now have to obtain a license from the Grenada Tourism Authority, and that will cost $100,” said Alison Hall, Quality Assurance Manager at the GTA.
The two other stakeholders who now have to obtain a license are Car Rental Operators and Watersports Operators at an annual cost of $300. The tour operator annual license will be $200.
According to new fee structure, a vendor’s license will now cost $35, which was previously $26; while the annual license for apartments and cottages will be $600, and villas $1,000. Guest Houses, Hotels and Restaurants did not incur an increase and will continue at the prescribed fees set by the Ministry of Finance.
Rudy Grant, CEO of the GTA, admits that many of the stakeholders did not openly embrace the new licensing structure, as many felt that it is not the right time for the introduction of the fees. “But I must say that many have come forward, and it’s generally acceptable,” he said, while explaining that the fees are not a revenue enhancing measures for the GTA, but more about complying with the legislation that establishes the Authority.
According to the legislation, no person shall operate any tourist accommodation or tourism enterprise, unless that person first applies for, and obtains a license, issued in accordance with the regulations of the Grenada Tourism Authority.
The major objectives of the GTA are to enhance the tourism product, and market and promote the destination, so as to sustainably increase visitor arrivals and facilitate the growth and development of tourism enterprises.