San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tourism Institute Proposes $15 Entry Tax

Travelers coming to Costa Rica may have to pay a $15 tax to enter the country if the Legislative Assembly approves a proposal from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).

The proposal, which Tourism Minister Carlos Benavides said this week will be presented to the assembly in the coming weeks, is to substitute an existing 3% tax on hotel stays with the entry fee, which would go toward the Tourism Institute’s budget.

Benavides said many tourists come to the country and stay in houses, condos or other lodging, and end up not paying the hotel tax, which is meant to be a tourism tax. Conversely, many Costa Ricans who hit the beach on the weekend end up paying the tax when they book hotels.

“I would rather tax those coming into the country than have the hotel tax that Costa Ricans are paying,” Benavides said Monday at a press conference. He said the tax would apply to those coming into the country, though he’s not sure yet whether it would apply to Costa Ricans or residents coming into the country.

The details of the proposal have yet to be finalized, he added.


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