Saint Lucia is to introduce a tourism levy from December 1.

Guests will be charged (US)$3 or $6 per person per night, depending if their room rate is below or above $120.

A 50% rate applies to guests aged between 12 and 17, and no fee applies to under 12s.

The government of Saint Lucia passed the levy after two years of consultation.

Registered accommodation providers are required to apply and collect the levy and pass it on to the administering authority. In return, accommodation providers will get a VAT reduction, from 10% to 7%.

Money will be used to help Saint Lucia increase its marketing and support tourism development.

Tourism minister Dominic Fedee said: “The aim is to ensure that the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA)is self-sustainable. The former budget allocation of approximately EC$35 million can now be directed to other demanding areas within key sectors of education, national security, and health care”.

Saint Lucia – which is on the UK travel corridor list – is part way through its phased re-opening.

It currently requires negative PCR tests for arrivals, taken up to seven days before travel. Thirty villas have been given tourism accreditation, and the country has launched a dine-around programme for visitors at eight restaurants. Diving, sailing and hiking up Gros Piton (pictured) is permitted.

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