Nevis Economy Bolstered By Tourism
The Nevis Ministry of Finance says that Nevis’ economy is on the rebound after being decimated by the global COVID19 pandemic.
According to Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, significant increases in collection in two important indices, VAT and Tourism Development Levy, point toward some level of economic recovery on the island.
“The island of Nevis collected in VAT in December 2020 4982,958.48. For the same period in 2021 the Inland Revenue Department collected $2, 823,029.14. The increase therefore was $1.8 million representing 187.2 percent over the [comparative] period.
“In so far as the Tourism Development Levy, this is a very good indicator of what that sector is doing because the Tourism Development Levy is a tax that is put on hotel and restaurant invoices… So to give some context and a sense of where we are, in December of 2020 that two percent brought to the NTA [Nevis Tourism Authority] $99,571.50. In December 2021 the two percent yielded $425, 970.26; so the increase is some 327.8 percent,” he revealed.
“So I think that those numbers, particularly the Tourism Development Levy, is a direct indicator of what’s happening with tourism on the island and to move from that is very significant in terms of demonstrating what tourism is doing and how it is that the island is rebounding and regaining the lost momentum in that sector. I think that that suggests we are moving once again in the right direction and we are regaining the momentum that we would have lost due to COVID.”
Premier Brantley, Minister of Finance and Tourism in the NIA, is hopeful that the numbers continue to trend in the right direction so the island can continue to make positive strides going forward.
The tourism sector, the mainstay of the Nevis economy, has been negatively impacted by the recent onset of the Omicron variant of the virus. However, the Premier said hotels have indicated that the initial setback of cancelled bookings has so far been specific to January.
“Omicron would have impacted in a very significant way their bookings for January and people were cancelling. In any event the hotels here are saying that their February and ongoing [bookings] still look very strong so I’m hopeful that this dip that we are seeing in January which were a consequence of cancellations due to Omicron, that that is going to pick up in February and that we’ll be able to have a good season. The truth is that right now any season is better than what we’ve had, because we’ve had no season at all for the past few years.”