Antigua introduces climate change tax on hotels and private lodgings

The Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Brown has introduced a Tourism Accommodation Levy (TAL) as he presented the 2020/2021 National Budget.

Prime Minister Browne said during last Thursday’s budget presentation that the new levy – which will be used to fund climate resilience – had already been discussed with “key operators in the tourism industry in Antigua and Barbuda”.

He said, “They recognise that tourism is vulnerable to the impact of climate change and, therefore, it is in their interest to help build climate resilience”.

The Prime Minister said that the tax would be charged at a rate of US$3 per guest per night for room rates up to US$150 per night and a rate of US$5 per guest per night for rooms with rates above US$150 per night.

The new charge, according to the PM, will go towards establishing a Climate Resilience and Development Fund (CRDF) to aid the construction of several facilities that will help to “finance resilience and support development”.

The levy will be applicable across the board, affecting hotels, guest houses, apartments, AirBnB rentals, and villas.

According to Browne, “Preliminary estimates indicate that the Tourism Accommodation Levy and the rollback of RRC concessions could yield between $50 million and $80 million annually or about 1-2 percent of GDP.”