In the budget last night, VAT (sales tax) will be reduced to 7.5 per cent from 1st October 2013 on hotels and Direct Tourism Services. DTS includes car rental, restaurants, attractions, activities etc.
This should have a direct and positive effect in bringing prices down.
The BTA (Barbados Tourism Authority) will also be getting another BDS$100 million (US$50 million over the next 18 months for 'marketing and promotion' which includes BDS$26 million (US$13 million) 'to settle immediately all liabilities of the authority'.
Government are purchasing both Almond Beach Village and Silver Sands with the objective of refurbishment, re-opening and then selling or having the two properties professionally managed.
Government's stated intention is 'to bring at 1,000 rooms back into production. ABV and SS currently have a total of 630 rooms.
The reduction in VAT to 7.5 per cent has been applied to hotels, but no mention of villas, condominiums and apartments. Neither has it been stipulated that the lower VAT rate will be applied ONLY to registered properties or hotels that currently DO NOT owe Government NIS, VAT, Land Taxes etc.