Starting April 1, foreign visitors to Quintana Roo will have to pay a new tourism tax for the privilege of visiting the state.
The state expects the 224-peso levy (US $11), proposed by Governor Carlos Joaquín González and approved by the state Congress last year, will generate 600 million pesos (US $29.1 million) this year.
But not all visitors will be taxed equally. A subsidy will allow tourists from Belize to pay 10% less due to the large number who regularly cross the border to visit nearby Chetumal for short-term visits, said Rodrigo Díaz, director-general of the state tax administration.
Tourists will be able to pay the new tax electronically when they book their trip, during their stay or upon exiting the state via a new website called Visitax. The payment is obligatory for all foreign visitors over 15. There will be also an option to pay in cash at terminals set up in airports.
“It’s expected to be an agile and simple transaction that won’t complicate visitors’ stay,” Díaz said.
The purpose of the tax is to help fund more tourism industry development in the state.
“The budgetary resources that this [tax] provides will permit the state of Quintana Roo to generate jobs and promote the generation of economic centers which will, in turn, produce mainly tourism jobs, which will make our state a strong visitor attraction,” reads text accompanying the law.
The amount was determined by multiplying the Unidad de Medida y Actualización (UMA), a base reference amount determined by the federal statistics agency Inegi and used to calculate the amount of everything from fines to employee bonuses, by 2.5. The current daily UMA is 89.62 pesos.
When the tax bill was passed, state lawmakers expected that it would generate a “conservative” amount of 900 million pesos (US $43.6 million) based on the expectation that the state would see 4.5 million international visitors in 2021. However, with the delay of the tax’s implementation due to the pandemic, that estimate was reduced to 600 million for this year, Díaz said.
Source: El Economista (sp)
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that visitors to Quintana Roo from Belize will pay 10% more than other foreign visitors.