Visitors to Jamaica who first arrive in the country by air are required to pay both a landing tax of $20 – about £15 – and a departure tax of $35 – about £25. The departure tax is usually paid at the airport when you’re getting ready to fly home, and you can use either US Dollars, Jamaican dollars or British Pounds – but not Scottish Pounds – to make the transaction.
Most of the time, your airline will bundle both taxes into the cost of your return flight, so be certain to check with your carrier what their policy is so that you’re prepared. As of 1st May 2019, TUI will be including departure fees and taxes in their upfront holiday prices to Jamaica.
Why do tourists pay tax to visit Jamaica?
Officially known as Jamaica’s Tourism Enhancement Tax, the fees enable Jamaica’s government to continue investing in the qualities that make the island a leading Caribbean destination. Although British citizens are able to visit Jamaica without applying for a visa, the tax is still required by law.
If you’ve visited Jamaica in recent years, you might have already been paying the tax and not realised it. In 2012, Jamaica introduced its arrival tax for visiting tourists, which is almost always bundled into the cost of the airline ticket.
The departure tax will be paid at the airport as you leave Jamaica, while the landing tax will be collected when you first arrive. If you’re unsure whether or not you’ll need to carry cash, we advise contacting your tour operator for more information.
Does one payment cover everyone I’m travelling with?
No. The tourist tax of Jamaica is levied against each and every individual visitor that crosses into this Caribbean island. So, if you’re taking a big family trip, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough cash in hand for each individual to cover both the arrival and departure taxes.
Only children under the age of two are exempt from Jamaica’s tourist tax.
Of course, if those taxes are already included in your family’s holiday package or flight deal, you needn’t worry, and can enjoy one of the best islands in the Caribbean to its fullest.
Now, all that’s left to do is check out our amazing Jamaican packages – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Originally written in November 2017.
Updated 15th November 2018.