Trade fees hike: Mauritius’ hospitality association drags authorities to court
The first hearing was held on Monday and the case has been postponed by the chief justice for February 10, 2014.
The tourism industry in Mauritius is up in arms against the increase in trade fees as they will be forced to spend twice the amount they are already paying to the Tourism Authority as commercial fees.
Accordingly, representing the interests of hotel and restaurant owners in Mauritius, Association des Hôteliers et Restaurateurs de l’île Maurice (AHRIM), has filed a case in the Supreme Court against the increase in trade fees. The plaintiff is represented by AHRIM’s CEO, Jocely Kwok.
The first hearing was held on Monday and the case has been postponed by the chief justice for February 10, 2014 so as to allow the defendant party to make its position known in regards to the demands of the plaintiff.
The defendants consist of all the urban councils and districts together with the City Council of Port Louis. The co-respondents are the ministries of local government and the outer island, Tourism and Leisure activities, and Economic and Finance Development.
According to the AHRIM, both the association and its members should have been consulted so that the opportunity is granted to them to voice their suggestions and to be heard by the authorities.
Taking into account the fees paid to the Tourism Authority last year together with the fees imposed by the government since the beginning of the year, hotels will have to pay an amount ranging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 700,000. On the other hand, guest houses will have to pay anywhere between Rs 13,200 and Rs 210,000.
These extra charges will also impact other businesses working in the tourism industry such as the beauty salons and travel agencies. A sum of Rs 12,000 will have to be paid by beauty salons while travel agencies will have to pay Rs 20,000.
With the trade fees hike, more expenditure will be imposed on tourist enterprises and for this reason they are requesting the authorities to freeze the payment of trade fees as they already have to settle payments to the Tourism Authority.