Holidays to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia are about to become more expensive. This tropical paradise famous for its Piton mountains and loved by honeymooners and families looking for a lush holiday in the sun, will have to fork out more for accommodation from December 1st 2020.
Holidaymakers will now have to pay extra for a nightly accommodation tax of $6 per person. Children aged between 12 and 17 will have to pay $3 per night. That means a family of four will have to budget for an extra $18 per night equating to an extra $250 for a two-week holiday.
The rate is halved for rooms costing less than US$120 per night and children under 12 are exempt from this tax.
This “Tourism Levy” measure has been taken to pick up the slack after the government cut its US$35m budget.
The government said the introduction of the tax followed ‘continued and extensive consultation over the past two years with key stakeholders in the tourism industry’.
T he St Lucia Tourism Authority said:
“The Tourism Levy will strengthen the ability for Saint Lucia as a tourism destination to increase its marketing and to support tourism development in Saint Lucia with a tax that correlates to visitor arrivals,”
A statement defended the move by stressing ‘many destinations’ have levies, including countries that have ‘far greater resources than Saint Lucia’.
“In addition, several Caribbean countries such Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have implemented similar levies on accommodation for visitors.”
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee added:
“Saint Lucia is well placed to continue along the trajectory of increasing its visitor arrival capacity and although we continue to navigate through this time of crisis, our aim is to ensure that the SLTA is self-sustainable.
“The former budget allocation of approximately $35 million shall be directed to other demanding areas within key sectors of education, national security, and health care.”