Tax revenues related to tourism activity between 2020 and January-June 2021 reached an amount of RD$9,014.4 million, of which RD$3,566.6 million was from the Tourist Card payment, that is, 39.5%. The reopening of the sector, due to the pandemic, was authorized since July 1 of last year.
This tax is the rate charged by the Dominican State based on Law 199-67, which authorizes the use of the Tourist Card as a requirement to enter the national territory for tourist purposes, without the need of a consular visa.
According to the Central Bank, in 2020 the State only collected RD$2,009 million from the application of the fee, which has a cost of US$10.00 and its use is limited to a single entry, as explained by the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII). However, in the first six months of the current year, revenues totaled RD$1,557.6 million.
In 2020, the year of greatest impact on tourism due to covid-19, Internal Taxes collected RD$5,015.6 million in tax revenues from tourism activity, of which 40.5% is equivalent to Tourist Card taxes.
However, with the reopening of the country’s borders and the resumption of international flights, the DGII collected RD$3,998.8 million for this tax during the period January-June 2021. Of this amount, RD$1,557.6 million represents the Tourist Card payment, equivalent to 38.9% of the absolute value.
Between 2020 and the first six months of 2021, the State received RD$3,566.6 million for the tourist card. According to the DGII, in 2020, RD$2,893.9 million was collected from the tax on the departure of passengers abroad by air.
While for the first months of this year, the tax on passengers departing from ports and airports collected RD$2,302.8 million.
The State received income for an amount of RD$250.9 million for visitors departing by land. This means that the income from this tax in the last 18 months amounted to more than RD$256.1 million.
Collections from the tax levied on tourists entering the Dominican Republic’s airports have maintained an upward trend this year, although with some variations. In January it registered RD$184.4 million, February RD$175.2 million, March RD$198.8 million, April RD$333.4 million, May RD$334.3 million and June RD$331.2 million.
According to Internal Taxes, in January 2020, passenger arrivals by air stood at 557,231, while for the same month, but in 2021, the number was 205,311 visitors. In February, there was an increase in tourism visitors, with a total of 565,179, but by February 2021, tourists arriving totaled 198,485.
For March and April, among the worst months during the pandemic, there was a slowdown of 270,049 and 217 tourists, respectively, while for the same months of this year it stood at 313,289 and 327,074, which means that there was an increase of 160.5% in the flow of passengers over the same period last year.
May and June 2020 saw a drop to zero tourists as the pandemic began to significantly impact leisure travel. The considerable decrease in the flow of tourists is explained by the measures to prevent and mitigate the effects of Covid-19, which included border closures and limitations on non-essential travel within the national territory.
With more than 853,484 tourists, in the months of May and June 2021 the Dominican Republic presented a growth of more than 100%, according to the Central Bank’s tourism flow report.
Reopening of the tourism sector
With the reopening of the country’s borders and the resumption of international flights, July 2020 registered 165,163 arrivals, while for the same month of this year it was 563,987 visitors, for a difference of 398,824 passengers, that is, a percentage variation of 241.40%.
According to Central Bank figures, during the January-July 2021 period, the tourism sector consolidated the arrival of passengers by air in 2,461,630 visitors, for a 58.01% growth with respect to the same period of the previous year, which registered an amount of 1, 557,839 tourists. This means that in the first seven months of 2021, the Dominican Republic had a flow of 903,791 tourists more than the same period of 2020.