Hoteliers, tour operators and restaurant owners urged government authorities to reconsider the impact that potential tax reform could have on the tourism industry.
Concerns were channeled through the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR), whose members voiced worries that higher taxes would mean higher costs for end consumers and the loss of competitiveness with other destinations.
Tourism insiders warn that the industry is vulnerable and only slowly recovering from an economic crisis.
The Legislative Assembly’s Financial Commission is currently studying a tax reform bill that would charge tourism businesses a 14 percent added value tax and also a 1.5 percent tax on monthly gross income.
“It is not acceptable to consider a monthly tax on revenues in an industry where small businesses are in the majority,” said Juan Carlos Ramos, president of CANATUR. “It usually takes 60 to 90 days for these small companies to collect monies from services provided.”