PSDI hosts pair of expert roundtables on tourism taxation
The Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) has hosted two expert focus groups to discuss the best tourism taxation and revenue policies and models for Pacific island countries as they emerge from COVID-19.
The two panels, held virtually on 16 August 2022 and 25 August 2022, will inform PSDI’s upcoming study on tourism-related taxation and revenue policies, and help guide the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 14 Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) on this important issue.
The study will address three areas: (i) the types of tourism taxation employed across Pacific DMCs, highlighting challenges in policy design, implementation, and transparency; (ii) global best practice on the design and governance of tourism taxation; and (iii) how Pacific DMCs can streamline the use of tourism taxation to support revenue generation, regulate tourist activity, and increase sustainability outcomes.
This work is especially relevant in a post-COVID-19 environment, recognizing the need for sustainable and resilient tourism recovery in the Pacific.
The panel discussions were facilitated by Chris Adams, Head of Research and Insights at Miles Partnership, and John Lambeth, President and CEO of Civitas, with PSDI support.
The first expert panel on 16 August discussed the importance of scalability for Pacific countries, the communication of tourism taxation initiativesto government, and the role of visitors in boosting Pacific economic activity post-COVID-19. The panel comprised:
- Tammie Tam – Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Warwick Hotels Fiji
- Liz Pechan – IFC Country Officer, Vanuatu
- Nanise Masau – University of South Pacific, Fiji
- Penny Spoelder – TRC Consultants
- Lisa Apted – Tax Partner (Fiji), KPMG Australia
- Fantasha Lockington – CEO, Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association
The second expert panel on 25 August discussed the state of Pacific DMC economies, remaining price-competitive as tourism destinations, and the role of taxation in incentivizing desirable behavior. The panel comprised:
- Peter Semone – Chief of Party for USAID’s Timor-Leste Tourism for All Project, and Chair of PATA
- John Perrottet – Independent Consultant
- Wouter Schalken – ADB Senior Sustainable Tourism Specialist
- Becky Last – IFC Tourism Specialist
- Chris Seek – Solimar CEO
PSDI is an ADB technical assistance program undertaken in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand. PSDI supports ADB's 14 Pacific DMCs to improve the enabling environment for business and to achieve inclusive, private sector-led economic growth.