As our borders weaken, the TA keeps on ticking
The very fact that the Government is now allowing unvaccinated travellers to come to Bermuda belies its continued insistence that the Travel Authorisation requirement is to “protect our borders”.
Let’s be real here: if we are really wanting to protect our borders, we would not be allowing unvaccinated travellers to visit. The United States does not allow unvaccinated travellers to visit; neither do many other developed nations. Why us? Because our visitor numbers are a fraction of what they should be owing to the deterrent of the Travel Authorisation. So we are attempting to collect even more Travel Authorisation taxes by allowing unvaccinated visitors to enter — provided, of course, that they pay their $40 “tax”.
Can we now stop trying to kid ourselves? The Travel Authorisation is nothing about protecting us; it is all about protecting the Progressive Labour Party government by providing it with easy income that it would not otherwise be able to collect. This government is so short-sighted that it cannot consider all the income we are not getting by the thousands of tourists that are not visiting because of the deterrent of the Travel Authorisation. Income that would go to ordinary Bermudians in the form of payments to taxi drivers, hoteliers, Airbnb hosts, local restaurants — not to the Government.
It does not want more tourists putting money into the economy that does not directly benefit the Government. It just wants the direct Travel Authorisation tax dollars. Fewer visitors at $40 per head to the Government is better for them than more visitors spending money that doesn’t go straight to government coffers. Don’t be fooled Bermuda: “It’s all about the money, honey.”