The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) is calling for a reduction on the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the tourism sector arguing it could contribute more to the island’s economy.
The organization’s position was revealed at the DTHA’s 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday evening.
“We are also looking at the interpretation and application of the VAT Act as it relates to certain membership concerns,” acting vice president, Renee Whitchurch-Aird Douglas, told the meeting. “We believe the reduction and review of the policy towards the the sector will create a competitive advantage for Dominica’s tourism stakeholders and contribute more to the island’s economy.”
The DHTA is proposing that VAT be reduced to 7.5 percent on accommodation, food and beverage and related tourism services “for all businesses in the tourism sector who depends 70 percent or more on the tourism for their business.”
“This will included hotels, tour operators, dive and whale watch operators, amongst other tourism related businesses,” Douglas noted.
She stated that prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has received the DHTA’s proposal and the organization awaiting a response.
The VAT system came into effect on March 1, 2006. It is charged at the rate of 15 percent on goods and services. Accommodation in a hotel or similar establishment and dive activity is charged at the rate of 10 percent.
Meanwhile president of the AID Bank, Julius J. Corbett, told the AGM that tourism has contributed ‘very substantially’ to the island’s economy.
He said preliminary figures for 2010, 2011, 2012 show that the tourism sector contributed $252-million, $285-million and $205 million respectively to the economy