New tourism taxes have made holidays to Barbados more expensive

Women exercise in front of a trainer (L) as the sun sets near Kensington Oval located in the capital city, Bridgeton, a frequently visited city by tourist. (Reuters picture)

BRIDGETOWN : Holidays in Barbados just got more expensive with the quiet introduction of new tourism taxes earlier this month.

As of July 1, tourists were hit with a new hotel tax, equal to US$2.50 (RM10.08) to US$10 (RM40.32) per night, depending on the class of accommodation, reports Travel Weekly.

That’s on top of an “airline travel and tourism development fee” of US$70 that will be applied to passengers flying to destinations outside the Caribbean as of October 1, and a 2.5 per cent levy applied to “direct tourism services” like car rental services.

The additional taxes are meant to help offset the island’s government debts.

But travel agents, travellers and hotels have expressed dismay at the move, which was imposed with a week’s notice.

For the average family staying an average of 12 nights, the additional tax could add US$240 to their hotel bill.

The additional room levy will be collected at the resort and hotels until 2020, when the VAT doubles to 15 per cent.