Minister on TA form: ‘good we have that distraction out of the way’
The end of the $40 Travel Authorisation form has been welcomed by Vance Campbell, the tourism minister, who said it was “good that we have that distraction out of the way” to focus on real issues.
The form, originally imposed as border protection against Covid-19, was predicted to bring in $22 million — but Mr Campbell said Ministry of Finance figures showed that the Government had raised between $23 and $24 million.
Mr Campbell, speaking at a press conference today on the Throne Speech, said the island was feeling the impact of low hotel bed numbers, airlift and “our ability to move our guests around with transportation on the island”.
The TA form was opposed by the Bermuda Hotel Association, which said it deterred travellers.
Asked if the form had hurt tourism, Mr Campbell said: “That remains to be seen. We have just come out of a month, October, where hotels were full.
“But with that out of the way, the Government, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and industry partners can focus on those three issues I just highlighted, which continue to impact us.”
The TA form was originally intended to end on March 30, 2023.
Revenues were intended to cover pandemic-related costs — but the form was cited by David Burt in July in a $15 million economic relief package for working families.
Mr Campbell said a “perfect storm” had come in the wake of the pandemic, with the war in Ukraine and global supply challenges hitting tourism “the world over”.