Pancy Cross, Executive Director of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association says that members are not very happy with the announcement from Government that a US$5 levy will be charged per night on each stay-over visitor as of 2014.
“We are not happy about this and our Board of Directors will be meeting tomorrow morning to discuss the implementation and impact this fee can have on the hotel sector, and then we will issue a statement,” Cross said on Wednesday.
She said that first inkling the Association and its membership had of this new fee was a news article in a local newspaper. “This levy was never discussed with us previously,” she added.
Presenting the 2014 budget on Tuesday, Finance Minister Dr Keith Mitchell announced that the levy is one of the new revenue raising measures that will be adopted by Government as of 2014 but explained that the funds will be used for a specific purpose.
The Finance Minister said that the Government and the tourism industry both agree on the urgent need to increase the marketing of Grenada as a destination of choice. “In this regard, Government will introduce a Tourism Marketing Levy of US$5 per night for each stayover visitor,” he said. Government expects to raise EC$2 million through that levy.
Elaborating on the new measure he said: “The funds collected from this Levy will be used exclusively for marketing Grenada and will be collected by Government and channeled to the Grenada Tourism Authority for the sole purpose of marketing Grenada,” he told the packed Trade Centre, which reflected a wide cross section from the business community, including hoteliers and other tourism stakeholders.
The Grenada Tourism Authority is to become the new agency for marketing Grenada’s Tourism product as of 1 January 2014. At present all marketing and promotion is done by the Grenada Board of Tourism but its believed that by transferring to an Authority this will provide for the management of that body to engage in more effect marketing strategies.
by Linda Straker