When Caribbean Community Ministers of Tourism meet in St Thomas on October 16, for a three day conference, it is hoped that collectively they will vote to levy the US$20 head tax on passengers who come into Caribbean islands on board cruise ships that call into regional ports.
The region has grappled with the idea of levying a head tax on cruise ships for over a decade. Secretary general of the CTO Jean Holder in a recent statement has lent his support to the idea.
“Tourism and hotel associations across the region, chambers of commerce and private and public sector interests should all get on board and send a clear message to our tourism ministers that they wholeheartedly support the idea of levying the tax.”
The CARICOM Ministers of Tourism are not alone in their taxing initiative. Last week, the US Virgin Islands decision to levy a US$5 heat tax on cruise ship passengers calling in their ports is meeting with opposition based on a five-year agreement between the government and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), in which the government agreed not to levy such a tax.
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