Govt forecasts boost in departure tax
The government forecasts a $12 million increase in the collection of air departure tax for the upcoming 2019/2020 fiscal year.
It projected $53.4 million in tax revenue for the 2018/2019 fiscal period and $65.7 million for the 2019/2020 fiscal period.
Asked why the government projected such a significant increase in revenue, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said, “You would notice that we’ve had a significant increase in air arrivals this year which we anticipate going forward into the new year.
“So, you will find, for one, you have a timing difference this year for the departure tax collections and then we expect that there will be sustained or increased air arrivals in the new year so we’re taking all of that into account.”
In March, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar revealed that 6.6 million tourists had visited The Bahamas in 2018, showing an increase of 7.9 percent compared to the 2017 numbers.
Air arrivals increased overall by 16.7 percent over 2017, a statistic that the minister was particularly impressed by.
“What is so incredible about these numbers is the overall increase in air visitors, and that’s the critical component, because they’re spending on average $1,500 per person, so when that goes up by 16.7 percent, the economic impact of that is quite substantial,” D’Aguilar said.
Last year, more than 30 percent of visitors to Nassau and Paradise Island were air arrivals.
The Family Islands collectively recorded a 14.9 percent increase in foreign air and sea arrivals.
Abaco had the greatest overall numbers among the Family Islands, with 437,825 foreign air and sea arrivals.
Air arrivals on Eleuthera increased by 26.8 percent to 61,786.
There were 62,123 air arrivals to Exuma.
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