Diane, the larger hotels already are included in the GST program because they have dive or tour shops, restaurants, gift shops, etc. The smaller hotels and those that manage a few properties for short term rentals were not included because they don't meet the cap for GST. The bottom line may be the same by the time you credit yourself for BTL BWS and BEL, BUT the issue is that you now have to raise your rates to include the 12.5%. Guests ASSUME that there will be a hotel tax/service charge, and they are given that amount up front, say 9% tax and 10% service charge in addition to the nightly rate. Travel Agencies have already received our rack and net rates for the upcoming year. Guests have been booked at the old rates for 2013.
I am NOT opposed to this, but I just think it should be discussed, and implemented at least a year in advance, so that we as hotels without GST currently, have time to adjust our rates and explanations to guests BEFORE they make a reservation.
I don't want to have to tell any guests who have already booked for 2013 that their room rate has now gone up because the tax at 9% has now been changed to 12.5% and that it is built into their rate, plus they pay an additional 10% service charge.
Those of us that were "exempt" were only those of us who do not have restaurants, bars, dive/tour shops, or gift shops, and therefore do not meet the cap for GST.
Our GST has been a "pass through" amount. Charged by the tour companies, paid by the guests, then paid back to the tour companies. We were never the "end user".
In addition, you have people renting their condos/homes without paying any hotel tax at all, therefore they are now able to "show" that they have lower rates, because they don't have any tax that they report.
Does that make sense?
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