Aguie Lendor, executive vice president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), considers that there is “a great opportunity” in city tourism to diversify the offer within this industry.
The executive believes that travelers can be encouraged to further increase their consumption during their visit to the cities through a regulation that refunds the Tax on the Transfer of Industrialized Goods and Services (ITBIS), from a minimum expenditure, which can be 100 or 200 dollars.
“This incentivizes the purchase, incentivizes another type of tourist who will come to restaurants, who will spend a few days in the city, to the historical tourism… this permeates in different areas”, he said.
He said that “each tourist who has been in the Dominican Republic in the last ten years must have consumed, at least, 133.79 dollars daily, according to the data compiled by the Central Bank”.
“If this amount is added to the average stay during the last decade, which is 8.6 nights, the expenditure made is about 1,150.6 dollars,” he pointed out.
He indicated that “so far this year 2023, tourists have made a daily expenditure of $153.62 dollars; this is 18.72 % more than what was spent in 2013, of about $124.89 each day.”
“In other words, during the last ten years, the minimum consumption of tourists in an average of eight nights in the country has only grown $223, going from $1,055 to $1,278,” he added.
For Lendor, a bill that returns the ITBIS to tourists would generate a positive impact on the businesses of the cities where it is carried out, without compromising the treasury, according to Diario Libre.
“Today, most of the purchases (by tourists) that we have measured are under $100. If we put that taxed and from there (a minimum consumption) is where the tax refund is going to be made, then there is no burden for the treasury, but it creates an incentive, because you are going to create jobs, you are going to have tourists spending on other things and consuming in the city,” he said.
Lendor explained that, as tourists buy products that they will later take back to their countries, this action could be considered similar to that of an export of that good, to which, ITBIS is not charged.
He added that the benefit is applied in other countries to encourage consumption, as in Spain, where the value added tax is returned to tourists at the airports when they present their invoice.