Minister of Economic Affairs, Sen. Hon. Michael Halkitis is commenting on changes made to departure tax that came into effect in the new year amid concerns by locals on whether the change will affect them.
Halkitis said, “every passenger leaving the Bahamas, other than by sea, which we call an air departure tax, it was $29, it remains $29.”
The Minister further explained, “the line that affects Bahamians, the air departure tax, by and large. Bahamians leaving The Bahamas normally do so by air remains $29. I want to make that point off the top. Where we do see the adjustment is in the cruise segment. So the cruise departure tax is either from New Providence, Freeport or Bimini as well as from the private islands they have increased by $5.”
Senator Halkitis also addressed the postponement of tax which occurred last year at the request of the cruise lines. ”We agreed to delay the implementation until the 1st of January, 2024. The other adjustment is a $5 environmental levy on cruise passengers to go towards environmental mitigation and taking care of the environment. And as well there is a $2 tourism enhancement levy which goes towards the development of the tourism product and everybody leaving The Bahamas pays that $2.”
The changes were passed in Parliament last year during the 2023/2024 budget debate.