Jamaican Gov’t rolls out new incentive program to boost tourism sector

Kingston, Jamaica – The government, as part of efforts to boost the tourism sector and grow revenues, has unveiled a new incentive program – the Tourism Industry Refurbishing Programme (TIRP) that is expected to further improve the operations and competitiveness of tourism entities.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett on Wednesday, July 28 outlined the scope and purpose of the TIRP at a media briefing held at the office of the Ministry of Tourism, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston.

Hon. Edmund Bartlett (file photo)

“We fully recognize that to be competitive in today’s market, the hotel property has to be perpetually “fresh and crisp”,” Minister Bartlett said. “The TIRP, will therefore, better allow tourism entities to refurbish their properties on a regular basis in keeping with the requirements of competitiveness,” he added.

With tourism being one of the island’s leading growth sectors, the introduction of the TIRP is expected to encourage more tourism entities to refurbish their properties more often, thereby creating more employment and revenues for the government through customs duties and other consumption taxes. It will also enhance the linkages between the tourism industry and the local manufacturing and furnishing sector.

Under this new initiative tourism entities which are licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board and are tax compliant will be allowed a concessionary import duty rate of 10 percent on a specified list of items for the refurbishment of their properties.

Importantly, those entities which opt to purchase locally will be given a 15 percent Income Tax Credit on the total value of the local purchases.

However, they will still be required to pay the applicable General Consumption Tax, Bureau of Standards Fee, Environmental Levy and Customs User Fee.

The TIRP will be available to hotels, villas, guest houses and apartments, attractions and water sport operators which have been in operation for at least five years. The offer is only available to tourism entities and therefore does not extend to importers and suppliers. Also, tourism entities which are currently enjoying benefits under existing or similar programmes will not be eligible to benefit from the TIRP.

Before accessing this new facility, which is being administered jointly by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, tourism entities will be required to submit copies of valid JTB license, Tax Compliance Certificate, detailed refurbishment/retooling plan and a detailed Bill of Quantity from a commissioned and tax compliant quantity surveyor.

Related Articles

Back to top button