Saint Lucia govt invites feedback on draft Tourism Development Bill

Saint Lucia govt invites feedback on draft Tourism Development Bill

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Saint Lucia: In November 2021, Cabinet endorsed a request by the Ministry of Tourism for a revision of the Tourism Incentives Act, Cap 15.30. In order to fulfil this mandate, the Ministry conducted a series of consultations in March 2022, involving stakeholders from all subsectors in the tourism industry, to assess the legislative landscape for tourism development, as well as gather feedback to inform the draft Tourism Development Bill.

Based on the recommendations of the stakeholder consultations held in March 2022 and benchmarking of tourism legislation in other regional and international jurisdictions and with regard to the unique needs of Saint Lucia’s Products and services, the draft Tourism Development Bill was prepared.

In light of this, the Ministry of Tourism is inviting public comments on the draft Tourism Development Bill. The Bill will facilitate the inclusive, resilient and sustainable development of the tourism industry by providing for certification, special incentives, tax relief and exemptions for certified tourism service providers and other related matters.

The Bill recognizes the prominence of tourism in the social and economic fabric of the country and, as such, seeks:

1. To facilitate the dynamic and diversified nature of the tourism industry, the development of all tourism sub-sectors, and the growth and expansion of tourism niche products and services;

2. To support inclusive development, i.e., by effectively engaging, involving and making special provisions for local tourism investors and by the provision of appropriate and equitable incentives;

3. To facilitate the ease of doing business in the tourism industry through the provision of an efficient incentive application and approval process;

4. To promote quality standards for tourism products and services, including consistent and high levels of customer service, while protecting health and safety;

5. To encourage climate resilient tourism business development and support environmental conservation and management (of cultural, heritage/historical, ecological, natural resources etc.) practices in the tourism business sector;

6. To provide specific support for industry resilience, i.e., help with rapid recovery post-disaster or post-crisis by including special allowances including (a) tax breaks from payment on all international advertising and marketing; post-disaster, and (c) recovery tax breaks;

7. To boosts the use of technology and the digitalization of the industry in support of industry competitiveness;

8. To encourage the use of local suppliers and supporting services as a means for linkages and spreading of tourism benefits;

9. To facilitate the provision of up-to-date information and statistical data by the tourism industry to allow for more effective decision making, policy and strategy development for the advancement of the tourism industry;

The Ministry is conscious of the importance of public consultation and transparency in the policy development process and, as such, encourages individuals to become acquainted with the draft Bill and provide comments and feedback to strengthen the contents of the Bill.

The deadline for comments is Sunday 31st July 2022. The draft document will be made available via the following online platforms.