GST - it's time to move on

The latest monthly news sheet from the Jersey Hospitality Association includes a feature on the Goods & Services Tax - attacking the government for a lack of information about its implementation and generally going back over the old arguments of the administrative burden, the inflationary impact, how our poor industry will suffer etc. etc.

Guys, it's time to move on. GST at 3% is being introduced in 2008, probably in April and will apply to all our sales. With that information we can plan our pricing for next year and take it into account when budgeting. We now need to concentrate on the challenges the tax presents on top of a 4% inflation rate.

The JHA speak of a 'crucial and delicate time for our industry'. I disagree- this is a dynamic and exciting time for our industry. Let's look at the evidence:

  • 300 new hotel rooms in the 4 star sector, opening in the next 3 months.
  • New air routes from Heathrow, Luton, Paris & other regional airports.
  • New ferry routes from France.
  • 2 Michelin star restaurants.
  • The creation of an exciting new waterfront retail and leisure centre.

In the last 15 years, there has not been a better opportunity to make a noise about how Jersey has finally shed granny's cardigan and received a makeover. If Jersey Tourism cannot build sales on the back of all this, then heaven help us.

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