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Tourism business sector says no to air, hotel tax

Cancun, Q.R. — A recently proposed air tax for tourists arriving into Mexico has been rejected by tourism heads in the state of Quintana Roo.

The National Business Tourism Council (CNET) made the $20 USD air tax proposal in June saying that the state of Quintana Roo should be the first to test the tax since they receive the highest number of foreign visitors.

The tourism business sector of Quintana Roo expressed the rejection of any new tax that the authorities intend to implement, particularly the $20 USD air tax recently proposed by the National Business Tourism Council that the council says would be used for security purposes.

Representatives of associations and tourist chambers for Quintana Roo held a press conference Thursday saying they will no longer accept any increase in current taxes or the creation of new taxes, but instead, suggest those in charge of taxes better manage the resources.

“We do not agree that any additional taxes be paid on tourism. Incentives must be given for tourism. Taxes that are already being collected should be managed better rather than thinking about how we can punish tourists by collecting more,” said Roberto Díaz Abraham, president of the Underwater Art Museum.

Along with CNET’s proposed $20 USD air tax is also the 20 peso per person hotel / lodging tax, which local businessmen also say punishes tourists pointing out that again, instead of collecting more, those in charge should properly manage what is already collected.

González Rubiera said that the collection of more tax is an aberration and that they are willing to continue their fight against authorities wanting to implement more taxes. He points out that there is already an endless list of taxes that the private sector has to pay.

“We have unconstitutional taxes like the municipal one that was left as a legacy by Mr. Greg Sánchez, plus taxes that are increased without warning like payroll, housing, tax on lodging and now comes this,” he said.

Miriam Cortés Franco, executive president of the Association of Holiday Clubs of Quintana Roo, said that up until now there is still no clarity, for example, with the handling of 30 percent of the lodging tax that would allegedly go to the sector. And although the group recognizes that the current state administration started with many problems, they’ve already had a year to recover but it is not clear what has been done to recover finances.

“We have zero promotion, zero transparency. Where is the money? Do not come to tell me now that they discovered that the coffers were left empty and they have no money,” said Hoteliers’ president, Carlos Gosselín Maurel.

Members holding the news conference said they will not allow the passing of the new tax that is being promoted by Pablo Azcárraga, president of the National Tourism Business Council and say they will not be offering an alternative to these taxes.

“We will not give an alternative. There will be no more taxes in Quintana Roo,” emphaized Díaz Abraham. Ivan Ferrat, president of the Nautical Associates of Quintana Roo pointed out that the nautical sector already pays 62 taxes and duties, “For anything that can occur, there is already a charge.”

The news conference was held by the Hoteliers’ president, Carlos Gosselín Maurel, Miriam Cortés Franco, executive president of the Association of Holiday Clubs of Quintana Roo, Sergio González Rubiera, president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies, Ramón Roselló, executive vice president of Inverotel and Ivan Ferrat, president of the Nautical Associates of Quintana Roo.