Saint Lucia introduces accommodation fee for tourists
Come April 1, visitors to Saint Lucia will have to pay an accommodation fee.
All accommodation providers on the island (hotels, guest houses, villas, apartments etc.) will be required to collect from US$3 and US$6 respectively on a nightly rate below or above US$120 their stay over guests
The fees will be paid by the stayover visitor and collected by accommodation providers who will remit the fees collected to the Government via the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. Guests at accommodation services sourced through sharing platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO will be subject to an accommodation fee of seven percent on the full cost of the stay.
The Government said in a release that the new fee will be used to finance the destination marketing activities undertaken by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) as it promotes Saint Lucia’s tourism product worldwide and particularly in key markets within the US, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Europe.
The fee will also be used to support village tourism development, and destination management and development of the local product in Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia attracts up to 350,000 stay-over visitors to its shores every year. SLTA has set a target of 541,000 stay-over visitors by 2022 and wants to increase airlift seat capacity and load factor on all flights into Saint Lucia to 85 percent. SLTA is also working towards increased awareness of brand Saint Lucia. The SLTA’s annual budget for marketing and promotion is approximately $35 million.
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee said destination marketing benefits all players in the industry – accommodation providers, airlines, tour operators, travel agents, ground handlers, sites and attractions.
“It’s always a challenge for small countries to allocate much-needed resources towards tourism marketing. The accommodation fee allows tourism to pay for itself, as the tax will be levied to tourists to the island. It frees up much-needed funds for healthcare, education and national security.”