26 Jul 2012

CNMI to hike hotel occupancy tax

12:52 pm on 26 July 2012

The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas government is to increase the hotel occupancy tax next year, rather collect a new 15 dollars on transient occupants of hotels and motels that was supposed to start at the beginning of this month.

The Fitial administration and the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands have yet to agree on whether the hike should be 13 or 15 percent up from the current 10 percent.

The hotel group's chair, Nick Nishikawa, says they are proposing a three-percent increase from January, gradually increasing to five percent by January 2014.

Mr Nishikawa says some hotels had tried to collect the 15 dollar fee but this either didn't sit well with tourists or the hotels themselves didn't want to inconvenience their guests.

Both he and the government have conceded there has been confusion and concerns on how to collect the fee and the lack of advanced notification to visitors.