The fee would be required from both domestic and foreign travellers and would be used for tourism infrastructure improvements
Filipinos travelling out of their country might expect lower expenses as Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority aims to replace current travel tax with a tourist fee.
Currently, all Filipino citizens have to pay P1,620 ($30.46) for economy fare and P2,700 ($50.78) for first class when flying to other countries. Now, the authority suggests a creation of a new tourist fee of P500 ($9.40) that will be required from both domestic and foreign travellers departing from the country.
“What we want to do right now is revisit that (travel tax) and make a tourist development fund specifically for departure,” said Pocholo Paragas, the authority’s chief operating officer.
Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority develops, manages and supervises tourism infrastructure projects in the country.
Paragas added that the money collected from the tourist feed would be transferred to a newly created Tourist Development Fund that would help to boost improvement and development of infrastructure for tourists visiting the Philippines.
He suggested the fund’s creation to the country’s president, Duterte, last year. Currently, only 50 per cent of the travel tax goes directly to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. 40 per cent belongs to the Commission on Higher Education and 10 per cent to The National Commission for Culture and Arts.
“We’ve been dealing with the international segment, the international airlines, (other) countries; we’re trying to coordinate with them to finalize the best fit for the Philippines,” Paragas said, according to Philstar.
Paragas said the fund could be established by the end of Duterte’s term in 2022.