All visitors to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will soon be required to pay US$10 in an environmental levy, following the passage of a Bill in the lower house on Tuesday.
The Bill, entitled the Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Act 2017, was passed with amendments, which are unknown as the final changes were done in private.
Premier Dr. Orland Smith, who piloted the Bill in the open House of Assembly, said the fees will be charged in tickets.
“An environmental levy at the rate of $10 shall be levied on and payable by each visitor arriving in the Virgin Islands by air or sea. A specified sum of money shall be included in the cost of a ticket collected by the owner, master or any agent for any vessel, or by any person through whom passengers are brought into the Virgin Islands,” states Clause 3 of the Bill.
However, this was not taken well by Opposition legislators Julian Fraser and Andrew Fahie who cautioned against the government’s appetite for price increases, saying that the move could discourage visitors from coming to the territory.
They also had questions about the collection of the funds.