TAX RISE SET TO ENDANGER TOURISM GROWTH
The Seychelles tourism private sector has once again warned of the potential impact of the planned GST (Goods and Services) tax rise from 12 to 15 percent on tourism services.
Introduced some years ago under an economic structural adjustment programme the GST is due to be replaced by a fully fledged VAT regime next year.
The increase will apply to eating out in restaurants, excursions and tours and other services tourists ordinarily enjoy during their stay on the islands, making everything more expensive by 3 percent a source from Mahe confirmed. Louis DOffay, the Chairman of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, had warned earlier in the year of the consequences of outpricing the destination but apparently to little avail, as the tax rise now seems just weeks away from implementation.
Said another regular contributor to this correspondents articles: SHTA has a point here. The global economy is again getting very fragile, the Eurozone problems and economic performance in the US are factors we should not overlook. Our traditional big markets are in Europe and although we have made a lot of progress in other new and emerging markets, if Europe has problems this will spread rapidly. We need to be mindful of global developments and should be careful on taxes and other charges put on tourism products. Our economy depends on tourism and we should stay competitive, see what our nearest rivals do in terms of pricing, taxation and so on. Our success in marketing cannot be taken for granted and we should avoid making this harder and more difficult.
Meanwhile are general elections underway in the Seychelles, yesterday on opening day 29th of September for essential personnel who are required to be on duty on the main election day 01st of October in Mahe, Praslin and La Digue and today, 30th September on the outlying islands where special logistics have been arranged to fly elections officials and materials to the more remote islands or else land them by boat to ensure that all Seychellois citizens entitled to vote have an opportunity to participate in the democratic process and shape the future of the country.