Sun, Sea, Sand and Beyond: BEPS Challenges in Small Island Developing States' Tourism Sector


This TIWB learning event took place on 23 April 2018 from 18:30-20:00 in Conference Room 7, United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States.


Tourism is a critical economic sector for developing countries. In 2016 alone, reported international tourism revenue amounted to USD 1.22 trillion, and is today among the fastest growing 'industries' in the world. Revenues generated by the tourism sector and tourism related activities represent an important source of income for many small island developing states (SIDS). Tourism accounts for over 25% of GDP (2014) in at least 7 SIDS.


Multinational enterprises are major players in the sector and present tax administrations in SIDS with several challenges. These include a lack of tourism sector knowledge which may impede the effective monitoring of tax revenues declared from this critical sector. For small countries, heavily reliant on corporate income tax, vulnerable to climate change and with limited economic alternatives, it is imperative that the tourism sector is appropriately taxed and that the capacities of national tax administrations are strengthened, including in the area of tax audits.


TIWB builds the capacities of tax administrations in developing countries in the area of tax audits of multinational enterprises. This TIWB learning event is an opportunity to discuss what can be done to overcome the challenges faced by SIDS in auditing the tourism sector and highlight the benefits that improved audit skills and industry knowledge can bring to tax administrations.


Base erosion and profit shifting, or "BEPS", refers to tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity.


For more information, contact the TIWB Secretariat directly:


Sun, Sea, Sand and Beyond - flyer

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A panel of leading experts discussed the topic.

Welcome and Introduction

  • Gail Hurley - UNDP TIWB Project Manager
  • James Karanja - Head of TIWB Secretariat

Navigating the Complexity of the Hotel/Tourism sector

  • Colin Garwood - Hotel Industry Expert

Country experience

  • Sandra Pryce - Tax Administration, Jamaica


Sun, Sea, Sand and Beyond panel‌‌‌


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