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Hoteliers hope the new Budget doesn’t impact tourism industry

  Coral Coast hoteliers are hoping for a 2016/17 National Budget which does not impact our tourism industry. President of the Coral Coast Chapter of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism
16 Jun 2016 13:01
Hoteliers hope the new Budget doesn’t impact tourism industry
Tourists enjoying Fijian hospitality.

 

Coral Coast hoteliers are hoping for a 2016/17 National Budget which does not impact our tourism industry.

President of the Coral Coast Chapter of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association and general manager of Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, Peter Hopgood, emphasised this.

“In past budgets, the resort and hotel operators have been subjected to increases in tax which is starting to have a negative influence on our properties,” he said.

“Our concern is the feedback from our travel industry partners and past guests, states that Fiji is being viewed as an expensive destination.

“We cannot afford to have any more tax increases.”

In the 2016 National Budget, whilst value added tax (VAT) was dropped to nine per cent, Service Turnover Tax was increased from five per cent to 10 per cent.

In addition, an Environmental Levy of six per cent was introduced. This now means that tourists pay 25 per cent taxes for services they receive including accommodation instead of 20 per cent previously.

“The Coral Coast chapter of FHTA worked with the FHTA board in preparing a submission to government,” Mr Hopgood said.

“In our submission, we highlighted the perception that Fiji was considered to be an expensive destination. We provided anecdotal evidence from our wholesale partners.”

 

Need for support

Mr Hopgood said the industry needs Government to support tourism so that we attract more visitors to Fiji.

“Obviously we realise that government needs to impose taxes but it cannot be at the risk of impacting our tourism industry,” he said.

“We need our tourism industry to grow so that we can employ more people, attract more investors and increase the overall contribution from tourism to GDP.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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