Cruise passenger tax increases pushed back to January 2024

Cruise passenger tax increases pushed back to January 2024
Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The government has decided to delay the implementation of departure tax increases for the cruise industry until January of 2024 according to Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper.

The increases were set to take effect in July. According to the 2023/2024 budget, the government intends to raise the tax on Freeport, Nassau and Bimini cruise passengers from $18 to $23. Passengers who depart from a cruise line’s private island without visiting another port in the Bahamas will face a slightly higher tax of $25.

Cooper told reporters yesterday, “Nobody wants their taxes to increase. They’ve made certain representations. We’ve taken those into consideration. The Prime Minister and I have spoken and we will speak at the Cabinet level. One of the issues was they wanted to be able to capture all of the taxes from their customers, etc. I won’t go into details in terms of what those representations were. Suffice to say we have already given a seven months in the implementation of the tax. The tax does not come into force until January 2024.”

In addition to the departure tax increases, government plans to impose a $5 tourism environmental tax and a $2 tourism enhancement tax on each cruise passenger. 

Carnival Cruise Line President, Christine Duffy, expressed her preference for a delay in the implementation of the tax in a recent article in Travel Weekly. She stated , “There’s a lot of development happening in the Bahamas, and we’re working with the officials in the Bahamas to see if, at least, it can get pushed out.”