Mexico Proposes Tourist Tax; Could Help Fund Security

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Mexico is considering a new tourist tax proposal on arrivals by air that could be used to help fund security initiatives.

The proposal calls for a $20 tax on air arrivals into the country, with the proceeds being used to benefit tourism infrastructure, Riviera Maya News reports. The National Business Tourism Council (CNET) first made the proposal, which was then taken over by the Federal Ministry of Tourism, which proposed that Quintana Roo be the first state to apply the new tax.

CNET Vice President Jose Chapur Zahoul said that the tax would favor Quintana Roo because that state currently captures the largest volume of foreign passengers at the national level. The proceeds would be administered by the federal government, but with private monitoring to promote greater transparency and proportional distribution to states that make the greatest contribution for the collection of the tax.

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Zahoul also said that the money could be used to reinforce security in tourist areas. Currently, the budget assigned to states and city councils is insufficient to address security issues, he said.

Last month several destinations in Mexico, including ones in Quintana Roo, were included in an updated Mexico travel warning by the U.S. State Department. The update warned that traveling to certain parts of the country could pose risks including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery. The updated travel warning, which was released August 22, replaced an earlier travel warning issued December 8, 2016.

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