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BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

Christ Church...
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BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

For those interested ,the BLP (Barbados Labour Party) , six days before the upcoming election have posted their 2013 Manifesto online. See the section Tourism - The Driving Force.

Promised objectives include: re-structuring the Barbados Tourism Authority; Staycation Tax Rebate; A Tourism Development Bond; A Restructuring Fund and a reduction in VAT rates (down to 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent on accommodation.

Perhaps BGI or other DE could post the link. I understand the DLP Manifesto will be launched tonight.

As someone involved in tourism, I would certainly appreciate YOUR comments.

Sheffield, England
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1. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

I have just had a quick read ..... Like any other manifesto I have ever read, this one lays out what the BLP want to do but is thin on the "how" and the "where will the money come from" aspects. That's manifestos for you though.

What I thought were positives were: the recognition of the recent decline in tourism in Barbados relative to the rest of the region which is impacted by the same economic situation, the desire to make revitalising the tourism sector the number one priority etc. In short, I thought the overall thrust of it was positive.

From a personal perspective, I'd hate to see Barbados full of 5 star internationally known hotel chains - I think there's a place for those certainly and I don't deny that that would help the local economy because of jobs created etc. However, many tourists who choose those type of properties stay on resort than those who choose 3 or 4 star or smaller guest house type properties. The result is that people fall for the hotel brand and not necessarily the destination they have visited so it won't result in as many repeat visits. For a sustainable tourism industry there needs to be a diverse choice of accommodation.

The tourism product needs to be marketed in the UK, Canada and the US and elsewhere as not only being a luxury product but one that is affordable to a bigger section of the target market. A lot of visitors to Barbados are 50+ so there is a need to attract more families, younger people.

Atlantic Shores...
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2. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

Read the manifesto here:

http://tinyurl.com/bmdzm4y

Tourism section is here:

http://tinyurl.com/butdzz4

Edited: 15 February 2013, 13:58
Barbados
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3. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

PeachandQuiet

It should also be noted that the tourism proposals in the manifesto are based on consultations with the BHTA.

Regards

Hanover, Canada
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4. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

It's a start, however anytime politicians talk about lowering taxes its often a desperation move to win votes. Not that I'm against lowering taxes, but wouldn't another option for the government be to keep the rates the same, and allocate the 2.5 percentage point 'reduction' in rates (1.25 for accommodation) to infrastructure rehabilitation assistance to tourism industry businesses?

Lowering the taxes in general might not achieve a lowering of prices.

Buzzards Bay...
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5. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

Generally, the more money you give to a government the more bureaucracy they create, the more job patronage there is, and they will waste most of the additional money. It looks to me like the government may have reached that point of diminishing return. Higher taxes don't always translate into more revenue. They can translate into less revenue because people will avoid taxes if they can.

Aberdeen, United...
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6. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

If you reduce taxes somewhere you have to recoup from some where else.

Sudbury, Canada
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7. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

IMO...

In these economic times the tourist will go to where they think they are getting good value for money paid or a really good deal. The days of the elitist tourist trade are waning if not history. There will always be a niche for places like Crane Beach or Sandy Lane but the bulk of the tourist cash is in moderately priced locations and countries. All tourism dependent countries/states in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and the southern States are competing for the tourist dollar with the winners being the ones that attract the majority of the 'new' tourists. These would be the people with disposable income earmarked for travel such as mature workers, some families and newly retired. It is the duty of the elected government to assess the world market and adjust their strategy for developing or re-establishing their tourist industry accordingly. Although tourism in general is down it is depressed in some countries more than others and it shouldn't be too hard to figure out why.

Barbados
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8. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

Dunnedg

The taxes to which the BLP is speaking of don't need to be recouped from anywhere. Our VAT rate was always 15%. The current government increased it to 17.5% stating it would only be there for 18 months. It's now been over two years and it's still 17.5%. All the BLP is proposing is to reduce VAT on food and electricity back to 15%. There is no loss since the VAT is going back to where it was for over a decade on food and electricity. We have been collecting LESS VAT at the 17.5% rate than we were collecting when it was 15%. The whole point is to improve the spending power of the masses to spur economic growth. That's the correct way for it to be done.

Regards

Burlington, Canada
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9. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

This link shows where tourism is up and down.

…cloudfront.net/sites/all/files/pdf/unwto_fi…

Most economists clearly favour reducing taxable income and have more appropriate taxes on consumer products. The basis for the argument is quite simply if people have more disposable income then they will have more to spend on discretionary items. Hence the government collects more taxes.

In the case of Barbados the government subsidizes many things and has to find a way to make up for taxes they cut. Plus there are the bond rating agencies, IMF and other international bankers who rate a country on it's ability to pay for the bonds. The lower the rating the more has to be paid by the country. It truly is a delicate balancing act that requires an understanding of the decisions and impacts.

Though the manifesto sounds good, usually newly elected governments can't or won't be able to follow through on their promises because the "previous" government expenditures were greater than expected. Blame it on those who lost.

So it's truly a wait and see and whatever happens cannot happen overnight.

Montreal
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10. Re: BLP Election Manifesto 2013 - Tourism - The Driving Force

Excerpted from Manifesto:

•Reduce the bound rates on commodities used by the hospitality industry and entirely phase out the very high bound rates where there is no local production being protected.

End of excerpt

Q: Are bound rates tariffs?

Do these policies make sense? I would defer to the operators of small and medium hotels in Barbados, but it strikes me as a positive step to reduce their fixed costs in terms of utulity rates and taxes. For sure the VAT going back to 15% is a good thing for all of us.