Bolivia will charge a US$ 14.5 dollar entry tax to tourists arriving in the country by airplane. The new measure will become effective once there is an agreement with the private sector on the details, Deputy Tourism Minister Joaquín Rodas said.
It will be applied once we can have a consensus with both the private sector and the airlines, given that the tax will be charged through the plane ticket, Rodas explained.
The Law of Creation of the Fund for Promotion, and Facilitation of Tourism and Special Contribution sanctioned in early December establishes a period of sixty days for the approval of a regulation that allows to have the norm in force.
However, according to Rodas, this term is subject to the necessary consensuses, therefore, there is no official date and it is clear tourists will not be paying the tax from the beginning of 2017.
The law also stipulates an entry tax for tourists arriving by land, which will be worth US$ 4, but the Ministry has two years to start applying it.
Bolivian officials hope to raise up to 10 million dollars a year, which will be reinvested in the Fund for Promotion of Tourism (Fontur). It remains to be seen, however, the impact of LaMia's flight crash in Colombia, which surfaced the country's extreme leniency on air travel, which poses security concerns on would-be travelers.
Once the arrangements have been made, the government will issue a Supreme Decree, whereby airlines flying to Bolivia will have to charge their passengers US$ 14.5. Travelers who have purchased their tickets before that time shall not subject to such payment, it was reported.
It was also unclear whether that tax can be imposed on citizens of Mercosur countries without violating common market legislation.
In 2015, according to figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 1.13 million people visited Bolivia, a figure they estimate to go up in 2016.