by Lisa Grimaldi | February 01, 2008

The Caribbean island of St. Barts introduced a 5 percent tourism or resort tax on overnight stays last month. The tax will be tacked onto the daily room rate in all hotels, villas and condominiums on the island.

Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts will open a 200-room hotel in Barbados in 2010 as part of a luxury waterfront development at the Pierhead in Bridgetown. The property will offer meeting space (amount yet to be announced) and a health/fitness center.

Kuoni Group, the large Zurich, Switzerland-based travel conglomerate, has acquired Conference & Touring GmbH, one of Germany’s largest destination management companies with offices in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. In a statement, Kuoni Group officials said the move underlines the firm’s strategy to expand into destination management for meetings, incentives, conferences and events, along with shore excursions for cruise lines.

Turkey's value-added tax on hotel rooms dropped from 18 to 8 percent as of last month.