BARBADOS: New departure tax and hotel room rate levy

Barbados Today

Effective  October 1, 2018, Government will introduce an airline travel and tourism development fee.

As a result, passengers flying outside of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region will pay US$70 and for those within CARICOM US$35. This fee will be in addition to the departure tax.

In making the announcement during today’s Budget presentation in Parliament, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said “it is anticipated that this measure in a full fiscal year will realize $95 million. $75 million of this amount will go toward the BTMI and BTPI and the remaining $20 million will go towards regulation of Tourism, Civil Aviation and our shareholder responsibilities to LIAT”.

Mottley also announced that effective January 1, 2020, the rate of Value Added Tax levied on the tourism sector will move from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent.

In the interim, Government will introduce a room levy to be applied to our hotel rooms as follows:-

“B” Class and Apartments     U.S. $2.50 per room per night

“A” Class                              U.S. $5.50 per room per night

Luxury                                   U.S. $10.00 per room per night

“In addition, we will apply a 2.5% product levy on all direct tourism services. This will be collected on Government’s behalf by the providers of these services,” Mottley said, adding that a ten per cent shared accommodation levy will be introduced on all fees charged for the shared accommodation.

It is anticipated that these combined measures will raise as follows:-

Room Rate Levy                            $47 million

DTS Product Levy                          $3.9 million

Shared Accommodation Levy $8 million


  1. Having been going on holiday to your lovely island for 3 weeks for the past 25 years this year will be our last. We booked for this year when leaving last December 2017. We save up all year to be able to go but now feel we are being penalized unfairly. Whilst on holiday on Barbados we also spend a lot of money. I think you may find there are quite a lot of regular guests feel the same.

  2. Having spent the last 25 years holiday on your beautiful island for 3 weeks a year I’m afraid this year 2018 will probably be our last due to this latest cost to us. We save hard to be able to go and spend a lot of money in Barbados. It takes us one and a half days to get there from Scotland which is an expense most tourists don’t have as well as the time. Feel tourists now being taken advantage off.

  3. My wife and I have visited Barbados on may occasions. Each we have found it more and more expensive. This latest budget is the last straw. 2 fights US$140 plus a fortnight stay another US $140. This is the last straw Im afraid we will now go to St Lucia or Antigua. Unfortunately many other visitors to Barbados feel the same and will go elsewhere. The tourism trade will be hit badly as well as the local economy (we spend around US$3000 on each visit) twice a year. I presume the only hotel gaining from this will be Sandals no Tax for 45 years I believe, and no money into the Barbados coffers. Anyway thanks for the memories Its pastures new for us!

  4. I know the previous GVMT stole and squandered the barbados economy to such an extent that the IMF has agreed to bail them out.
    The sewage issue should be the No. 1 Priority for the South West Coast.
    I was there in June 2018 and the stench from the Gap upto the Garison was beyond belief.
    I’m a long time visitor to BGI, been there over 20 times in the last 15 years.
    What Barbados really needs to do is increase VAT for everyone to 25%

  5. My Husband and I were so shocked to hear that a room levy of $5.5US dollars are to be added to the cost of our Hotel room, plus to pay an extra $70 US each to leave the Island is asking a bit much. This year would have been our 28th visit to Barbados, we have always been totally loyal to Barbados, we got married there and renewed our vows this year at Tamarind, we could have gone to other islands, but we didn’t. We do not do all Inclusive, we eat out at the restaurants around the Island and Hire a car, plus spend a lot of money in your shops. So for us we already spend a hell of a lot of money on your Island, but to have to pay the extras that Mia Mottley has introduced we will not be returning. What Mia Motley does not realise is that we already have to pay £350 each extra for fuel tax to fly out to the Barbados, but to be honest I would now rather go to another island. I would also like to add that many celebrities that stay on the island tend to stay in their Hotels and do not spend much on the island itself, ie in restaurants, shops or excursions, which has been admitted by celebrities recently on UK TV, so it’s us the tourist who save hard for our holidays that are being hit, and who spend money on the island. I’m sure a lot of tourist will now go to Antigua or other islands that are much better value, and to be honest Barbados does not deserve our loyalty anymore.

    • well said we have been going for the last ten years stsying two months per time. We rent an apartment we eat with the local people and support the local communities. This is an absolute disgrace and rather than helping the economy I’m sure it will have a far more negative effect x

  6. My wife and I have been travelling to Barbados twice a year for 25 years This trip in November will be our last. $70 US each departure tax, 15% vat, Hotel tax, you just don’t realize that you cannot continue to milk a cow until it is dead. Tourism supports Barbados and without you will have nothing except Bajans that can’t afford to live and politicians lining their pockets as the past Prime Minister was extremely good at. We stay at a small South Coast hotel that will now lose 60 nights of Business and restaurants that will loss 60 visits(plus friends) We could travel to any island we want, but Barbados was always our choice as the people were friendly ok you were a little expensive compared to other islands but the feeling we got from the residents and other visitors made up for that.
    Enjoy the additional money while you can but without tourism I fear Barbados will turn into no more than a glorified Haiti

  7. I share the sentiments voiced by other responders, my wife and I have contributed many 100s of thousands of dollars visiting Barbados over the past 20 years. The recent new levys/ taxes may now cause us to revise our future vacation plans. It is appreciated why they have been levied, due to previous government almost bankrupting the country. Show the tourists that they are not solely paying for others mistakes. How about pursuing investigations into the conduct of previous government officials and prosecuting them if mal- practice is proven, including confiscation of their assets?

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