Costa Rican Tour Operators Excluded From Hefty National Park Entrance Fee

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) –The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) is working on an amendment to Decree No. 38295-Minae published in the previous government which stipulates a fee of 13% sales tax for entering National Parks.

    The tourism sector said that assessment would hurt Costa Rica as a tourist destination. The stated reason: the tax would also affect tour operators offering services to tourists. On Monday, several Members expressed their concern about this issue and requested government intervention.

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    “We shared the findings of legislators and we are working on a modification of the decree in that regard. We have made it publicly known in various public forums such as meetings of the Environmental Commission of the Legislative Assembly,” said Minae on their official Facebook profile.

    Sectors such as the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) and the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) claimed that for some time the Treasury had another interpretation that they did not share on the Sales Tax Act, dating from 1982, by imposing a levy on tour operators.

    “We are focusing on conceptualizing the entrance to protected wildlife areas as an experience that keeps us in touch with nature, an educational experience, training and even spiritual if viewed holistically, hence we do not see it as a recreational activity as indicated by previous administrations,” declared Minae.

    Heriberto Pablo Abarca, Canatur president, said they are pleased because the objective of the sector is to respect the laws of the country.

    The decree had gone into effect on July 30, as explained by the tourism officials.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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