Business group denounces  tourist visa tax move

 
1,156Views 4Comments Posted 03/09/2019

 

Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, (Cciap), has come out strongly in opposition to a draft law on  “incentives to airlines in Panama ”, and  a  proposal to create a tourist visa tax.

“ This Chamber promotes tourism as one of the potential sectors to reactivate the economy given its multiplier effect in other productive areas of the country, and for its ability to generate thousands of jobs," said Jorge Juan de la Guardia, president of the guild on Tuesday, September 3.

He argued that both blueprints " are detrimental to national economic development " He added that, for the businessmen's union, the draft bill proposing the creation of tolls for passengers in transit for the use of airport facilities is of concern, since “ this type of tax would scare off those who use the Tocumen International Airport, hub reducing the country's competitiveness . "

The Cciap considers that the proposed draft “ ignores the success so far obtained by the air operations center established in the main airport of the country, a product of Panama's open skies policy and the effort made by the Panamanian private sector, especially of the airlines ”.

“ Panama has a successful connection center in the region; however, it is not the only one. We compete with Miami, Mexico, San Salvador, Bogotá, and Lima, to name a few that do not charge any type of traffic tax through their airports. These, as soon as they know of this possible toll, will be ready to celebrate it and attract those passengers who chose ours, ”said de la Guardia.

He believes  the other air centers will subtract traffic to Panama, “ which translates into a decrease in flights to Panama and, consequently, the reduction of vital jobs in the tourism sector ."

The Chamber also strongly rejects the project that proposes the creation of a tourist visa tax. " Increasing the cost of visiting a country for tourism represents the difference between coming to Panama or another destination such as Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic or Colombia, which do not impose visas on their tourists ."

“ Tourism is an industry that is managed through product and marketing, so these legislative proposals will negatively impact the initiatives that are implemented to boost the national tourism industry," said de la Guardia.

The Cciap maintains that: "more than 20 thousand jobs have been lost in the country due to the decrease in the number of tourists in recent years, we need to recover these jobs, not put them at risk ."



Comments 4

user
Dave G

The fee I'm referring to is literally called the Panama tourism tax. This is in addition to the airport taxes.

17 days ago
user
Dave G

The fee I'm referring to is literally called the Panama tourism tax. This is in addition to the airport taxes.

17 days ago
user
Dave G

The already is a Panama tourism tax on tickets and it's $40. Everyone gets charged it also, regardless if they are a tourist, resident, or Panamanian.

18 days ago
SK
 
StanK

That is the airport tax, and if you are jubilado there is a 50% discount. The fun part is trying to get it.

17 days ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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