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Hutson, GeorgeThe Barbados government has defended the $31.50 departure tax at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), saying it still among the lowest when compared to the fees charged by other Caribbean countries.

“The facilities in the various airports across the region have to be maintained and managed. That is a cost we have to pass on to persons using the airport facilities,” said International Business and International Transport Minister George Hutson.

Caribbean, Canadian and Mexican travelers will now have to pay a $5.50 tax if they enter the United States by air or sea.
A U.S.-Colombia free trade deal, passed recently in the U.S. Congress, includes a clause that removes an exemption from the tariff for travelers from the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

Those countries had been exempt from the fee since 1997 under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but Canadian officials here said American legislators, needing fresh cash for government coffers, have resurrected it.

David Crofts

Seasoned Canadian hotelier David Crofts has taken the reins of the new Comfort Suites Ports of Call resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Crofts, with almost 30 years of industry experience, has managed hotels and resorts in Canada, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos where he was executive assistant manager of the Caribbean Village at Beaches Turks and Caicos over the past three years.

As the holiday season is now in full swing across the US, The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, is still accepting gifts for their annual Holiday Toy Drive, delivering toys and smiles to underprivileged boys and girls throughout the Caribbean this holiday season.
In proud partnership with Hasbro, Inc., one of the world’s leading toy manufacturers, the Sandals Foundation is bringing the “gift of play” to underserved children in community centers, orphanages, adopted schools and children’s homes across five islands through this year’s Holiday Triple “Play” campaign.