TOURISM players in Dubai and the Maldives have to contend with new tourism taxes and the operational headaches they bring.
Dubai is introducing Tourism Dirham, a new hospitality fee ranging between seven (US$1.90) and 20 dirhams on hotel stays from March 31, while the Maldives resumed the bed tax of US$8 per bed per night from January.
Majestic Hotel Tower Dubai director of sales, Stella Giasta, said: “Tourism Dirham won’t have a problem on demand, but it will raise a lot of operational issues as rates are negotiated a year ago or sometimes even more.”
As the tax is levied according to the number of bedrooms, Giasta foresees some groups or families staying in accommodation with multiple rooms burdened by the higher fees. Further confusion may arise over a two-month exemption period, in which guests who have paid in full by February 23 and stays completed by May 31 will be exempted, she shared.
Likewise, the Maldives’ changing taxes – the bed tax will be removed in November 2014 when the tourism GST is raised from eight to 12 per cent – also bring with them operational challenges for suppliers.