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Jamaica introduces US$20 arrival fee, accommodation tax

Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance and Planning has introduced a revised tax package for the island’s tourism industry, which will see arriving visitors having to pay a US$20 fee, as well as a new daily accommodation tax. The move follows negotiations between the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) and representatives from both the Ministries of Finance and Planning and Tourism and Entertainment. As part of the agreement, all arriving visitors will be required to pay a US$20 fee, which will be included in the ticket cost, effective August 1. The agreement will also see the introduction of a new daily accommodation tax per occupied room, per night of US$1 for properties with less than 51 rooms, US$2 for hotels with 51 to 100 rooms, and US$4 for hotels with 101 rooms and above, effective Sept. 1. Currently, hotels in Jamaica do not charge an accommodation tax. Jamaica’s Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, commended the JHTA and other stakeholders for finalizing a workable compromise to previously proposed tax rates. McNeill is convinced that these measures provide a win-win situation and will ensure that the country meets its revenue targets while protecting the tourism industry, especially small properties. “The measures were arrived at in a spirit of co-operation and were approached with the aim of an outcome that is beneficial to all parties involved,”noted Evelyn Smith, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association.

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