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Bolivia to charge tourists an entry tax in 2017

Saturday, December 31st 2016 - 06:57 UTC
Full article 22 comments

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. Read full article


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  • Briton

    will Bolivians be charged to enter other countries then ?


    Happy New Year, Everyone,

    Dec 31st, 2016 - 01:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    “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.”

    Skills translation Bolivian very, Yoda.

    Dec 31st, 2016 - 03:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Despite whatever the Mercosul rules say about the implementation of such a tax, my first thought was, as Briton suggests, a clear case of applying the principle of 'reciprocity'...

    Jan 01st, 2017 - 08:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    All this talk of a fee to enter Bolivia.

    Why in heaven's name would anyone wish to go there in the first place?

    Jan 01st, 2017 - 11:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    you are 100% right !

    Jan 02nd, 2017 - 03:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    One may more reasonably ask why anyone would want to move to Argentina and run a business there, but apparently some people do.

    I know people who've been to Bolivia as tourists and they said it was one of the best countries on the trip.

    Jan 02nd, 2017 - 05:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @DT “....been to Bolivia as tourists ...”

    After Jujuy or Somalia, Bolivia can look pretty good.

    Jan 02nd, 2017 - 06:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Since I don't recall you ever saying anything good about any country in South America, I think I'll continue to rely on the judgement of my acquaintances. ;)

    Actually, can you understand why tourists would want to go to Argentina? Or Chile? Or Brazil?

    Jan 02nd, 2017 - 11:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Sure, rely on the opinions of tourists. What could go wrong?

    Jan 03rd, 2017 - 02:27 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @ DT

    I hear similar reports from friends who have visited Bolivia. They rate it highly and thoroughly enjoy their visits. Of course, it is a developing country and the poorest in South America - against stiff competition - but why would that stop people from visiting? No one goes there expecting it to be like a developed country and why would they? It astonishes me how many people allow their prejudices and fears restrict their lives so much. Travel really does broaden the mind.

    Jan 03rd, 2017 - 12:09 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Marti Llazo

    I had some tourist friends who wished to hire a car in either Chile or Argentina to drive into Bolivia.

    Chile into Argentina, no problem. Argentina into Chile, no problem. But no car-hire agency would allow their vehicles into Bolivia.

    There's a reason for that.

    Jan 03rd, 2017 - 03:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @ ML

    Do you think that is a reason not to go there? Is there a country anywhere in South America that you do not have something negative to say about?

    Jan 03rd, 2017 - 06:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I agree, people visit poorer countries than Bolivia all the time, and there are interesting things to see in most places. Some people just enjoy complaining and being negative.

    Jan 03rd, 2017 - 07:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Always enjoy hearing from the tourists. So here is one of my stories about Bolivia, for prospective visitors.
    Several years ago I was contracted to play interpreter and guide and take two foreign journalists from Santiago CL to the presumed site of the deaths of the famous North American bandits, Butch Cassidy and what's his name. Things went smoothly as usual on the CL side and we stopped in Antofagasta for photos since there was a historical connection there for the bandits. Things went stupid when crossing into Bolivia. The BO aduanas bloke wanted the journalists to pay a fee for bringing their cameras into the country. And they told me that my “international” insurance wasn't valid in BO (it was sold in Argentina and very specifically included Chile, Bolivia, and Peru in the countries where it was valid). It turned out that the BO customs official was in cahoots with the only alternative source for insurance near the control fronterizo. The journalists were getting a bit anxious and so we bought an additional 2-day coverage policy for BO. Our AR insurance carrier later confirmed that this was part of a common BO scam. On our first night into the country at the nicest hotel restaurant available I counseled the clients on what they might consider safe things to eat and which things they might wish to bathe in lime-juice first.The next day they asked about finding a farmacia and some extra toilet paper. But we didn't get much farther anyway. Some of the locals were peeved at someone and had blocked the road with boulders and threatened to do a Jeremy on anybody who even got close to their barricade. We explained our purpose, being foreigners and all that, but no deal. More threats. No choice but to make a long detour the next day. Another rock barricade and before we even got near it the cholivians started throwing rocks at us. We tried for two more days. Nothing but similar hooliganism. One of our better BO trips. Por lo que valga/YMMV.

    Jan 03rd, 2017 - 09:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @ ML

    So one poor experience is a reason for no one to go to Bolivia? Maybe the journalists should have hired a guide with a better knowledge of the scams and problems in Bolivia. A good guide with local knowledge can get you through these kinds of problems.

    The only place I ever contracted salmonella poisoning was in Argentina. In a famous fish restaurant, 'the best in town'. Salmonella is a dangerous case of food poisoning as opposed to a dose of the runs which is pretty common place for regular travellers.

    On my travels I have often met people who worry about everything and expect to have all they have at home but with different scenery. Personally, I think they should just stay at home where they can eat the same old, same old, and see the same old, same old. Then they wouldn't have anything to complain about.

    Jan 04th, 2017 - 12:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    How many years ago was this Marti? Was it before or after you made your first million dollars?

    Jan 04th, 2017 - 07:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Ever been a guide in Latin America, DT? Ever even been to Bolivia? Familiar with getting emergency care and evacuation of injured clients down here? Or is Lonely Planet and a couple of monolingual tourists your source of all knowledge on the subject?

    Jan 04th, 2017 - 08:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I'm sure you know the answer, but none of that is relevant to how many years ago it was. Countries do change over time; Bolivia only returned to democracy in 1982.

    Jan 04th, 2017 - 10:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    When you travel to a 3rd world country - some better, some worse than others - I find it advisable to go to with an open mind as to what to expect. Went to BOL once, about 40 years ago, to play rugby...from Corumbá (Brazil, MS), crossed the border to catch the train to Santa Cruz de la Sierra...nearly one whole day in an old, extremely uncomfortable train. Loads of stops at small villages. It was an eye opener and a good preparation for what was yet to come. From Santa Cruz, took a 12 hour bus ride to La Paz….not the best place to play rugby, given the altitude. Nothing particularly life endangering, but one thing that stood out was police truculence....the only thing between going to jail for the night and going back to the hotel after a booze-up in a local bar, was the intervention of the Brazilian Consul, the phone of whom one of the players had had the good sense to take - the Consul probably didn't appreciate being called at 2 in the morning, but he was there to do his job. ...considering we had broken no laws, the only thing we could think of (the Consul, too) was the bar owner had called the police under false pretense in order to extort us. Not too different to certain parts of Brazil.
    Experience has shown that for every satisfied tourist, you'll probably find a dissatisfied one, so I think it might come down to luck.

    Jan 05th, 2017 - 03:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @ JB

    Fair points. I think travellers can be lucky or unlucky and the unfortunate stories are the ones bandied about the most. To pack an open mind is essential.

    In a lot of developing countries tourists are viewed as financial opportunities by the locals and it isn't personal. They are doing what they have to do to get by. How fortunate are we who don't have to live like that.

    Jan 05th, 2017 - 06:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    FWIW in all the years of playing the guide I have had generally “good luck” in most countries. Bolivia, not so much. But Colombia, Venezuela (worked there briefly in the 1990s), Ecuador, Peru, and most other places, generally quite good luck and good treatment. Only twice in Argentina did a client get uncalled-for rude treatment, both times by the AR Gendarmeria folks. Exceptionally good experiences with officialdom in Chile - never a rude moment, and I consider the Pacos/carabineros as well as SAG and Aduanas in Chile to be exceptional in the most positive way. But of course some clients bring rough treatment on all by themselves. Had one client who was a not terribly bright attorney from the US (worse, a former US fighter pilot) who just wouldn't take a hint when the CL pacos gave him every chance imaginable. Finally got him to see the light before his fortunes turned dark. On the same trip his buddy got clumsy all by himself, got broken-bones hurt, and had to be evacuated. That's when you earn your fee, because a med-evac from backwoods southern Chile is sometimes not a picnic. For a couple of years I worked the Caribbean region and the client was a civilian contractor involved in counter-drug work for the US (I was known to the RSO, Regional Security Officer, at the affected embassy). Sometimes we had host-nation security and sometimes not. Small airports, bullet holes in the glass, that sort of thing. The stupidest event during those times was in Costa Rica. Guidebooks tell you CR has no military. Guidebooks don't tell you that the government has “security” forces personnel who look like teenagers, with submachineguns, charged with protecting certain hilltop sites in which the US has an interest. I was on the access roster at the wire and all should have been fine, but... but Costa Rica was the only place I've had an Uzi stuck up my nose. Otherwise, CR was mostly pleasant. A little shy on competence, but overall a decent place to work.

    Jan 05th, 2017 - 07:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    There probably is a lot of luck involved, although I expect it's changed a bit in 40 years. Neither me nor my tourist friends were even born when you visited!

    I don't think they would have been up to playing Rugby either, in fact one of them got altitude sickness, but they seemed to enjoy it anyway.

    It all depends on what you expect, and what attitude you have, anyway. Two people could visit the same place and have the same experiences, and one of them love it and the other hate it.

    Being viewed as a financial opportunity instead of a person is what I disliked most about visiting poorer countries. It's perfectly understandable of course, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant.

    Jan 05th, 2017 - 07:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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