Tourism concessions hard to come by

Members of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association are frustrated over not being able to access the concessions being offered under the Tourism Development Act (TDA) and the Tourism Development Act Amended (TDAA).

BHTA’s chairman Stephen Austin spoke of this during his address at the annual general meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael, on Wednesday.

It has been an ongoing concern for them.

“One member had an approved item on the list sitting in the Port for over three months due to one agency or the other questioning if it was on the correct letterhead or if it was approved even though the approval letter was signed by the Minister,” Austin said.

“These impediments are very frustrating and can be costly due to the amount of human resources dedicated to having these items cleared. Tourism is the major economic driver in the Barbadian economy and the concessions granted are meant to encourage and assist the sector in renewing its product and remain competitive.”

Austin made some suggestions that he believed would help the sector going forward.

“It is also time that concessions are offered to individual restaurants who qualify in our membership, as they too contribute significantly to our Tourism product and should be afforded the opportunity to benefit from the TDA and TDAA concessions.

“We cannot continue to meet to discuss and suggest alternatives on how the TDA and the TDAA can be improved with agreement by all agencies in Government and then no change is implemented to improve the situation. The BHTA remains committed to improving the facilitation of the concessions and will continue to strongly lobby for changes to be made to the way it is facilitated,” he stressed.