Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, President Nicola Madden-Greig, says she’s not in support of a recommendation that money from the Tourism Enhancement Fund should be used to help finance the government’s income tax removal plan.
Hotel mogul Gordon Butch Stewart made the recommendation on the weekend.
Mr. Stewart says the Government could contribute $2.5-billion or 50 percent of the TEF towards financing its income tax break for low income earners.
Just over USD$40-million is collected by the TEF annually. Fifty percent of that money is used to market the destination.
The other 50-percent, is used to maintain and develop the tourism product to improve the destination’s attractiveness island-wide.
The JHTA says the funds from TEF are essential in maintaining the competitiveness of the tourism sector, its growth and other critical initiatives such as the Tourism Linkages Hub.
Mrs. Madden Greig says any use of the TEF resources other than for tourism related purposes would be outside of the remit of the fund.
Mrs. Madden Greig says the recommendation from Butch Stewart that a percentage of the TEF be diverted to the support the income tax break plan would be counter productive.
She’s questioning the potential impact such use of TEF proceeds would have on the fund.