As a annual visitor to Anguilla ( 10 weeks in the last 104 weeks ) I would like to register my grievence with the Government / island people in respect of the taxes / charges and hard work incurred in visiting the island and the sheer hard work that is made in leaving the island thro Wallblake.
I realize that Anguilla is aiming for high end vacationers and have no objection to this, I do not set the policy on the island, I do not live there and it is for the people ( elected government ) to decide how they run the island.
However, as a regular visitor,and a spender of real money, I do object to the somewhat loaded, lets charge the visitor another dollars, taxes and charges mentality. Whilst the majority of visitors are of a reasonable / high earners and a buck is neither here nor there, people do not like being fleeced andâ€¦.the phrase killing the golden goose springs to mind.
Having just completed a 24 night stay on the island, I accept that I pay the normal service charge / accomadation charge, to my chosen hotelier.
Then I find myself paying a government tourism charge of a dollar per night per person which to be quite frank is outrageous..its not the money itâ€™s the principle. On top of this I am bilked for a temporarary drivers license and a 20 dollar per person / 10 dollar charge for the kids charge just for the privilidge to leave the island.
No content with this, the government / airport authority charge me a security charge just to process my bagsâ€¦you canÂ´t call it security because it is really a open and shut search, or if you are lucky enough, the scanner machine works and your bags are scanned.
Now lets address leaving the island. You arrive at LIAT check in and wait 15-20 minutes, although there are 2 people behind the counter. You are then checked in butâ€¦..take your boarding card to taxes and pay your moneyâ€¦ and then return to the same deskâ€¦then pay 20 dollars security tax, follow your bags through to the back, unlock them, get a bloody , lazy, cursory glance through, relock and leave. Go back to check in and get your boarding cardsâ€¦..but wait for itâ€¦we have to be processed by the security jobs worth again.
I could comment on the airport security but I will leave the security / shoe removal jobsworths alone, but suffice to say, nobody really minds the security checksâ€¦if the job is done properlyâ€¦..if you ainÂ´t gonna bother to do it properly then donÂ´t do it.
The island, its people and the government need to address this form of indirect taxation and charges because believe me, people notice it, chat about it and in the end it will cause a reverse effect on tourism.