Dominican Republic -- A $5 tourist tax will take effect Nov. 1 in
the Dominican Republic for visitors arriving by air. The tax, which
government officials described as temporary, will be rolled into
the price of the airline ticket.
$10 tourist visa fee, currently collected from air and cruise
visitors upon arrival, continues in effect and will remain separate
from the $5 tax, although an electronic version of the visa will be
introduced on Nov. 1 to help streamline the arrival
In addition, a
$20 departure tax, which has been collected from visitors departing
by air for more than 20 years, remains unchanged.
minister of tourism, said that the revenue from the $5 tax will be
used to shore up the destinations infrastructure and, in
particular, its roads, highways, signage, water treatment systems,
sanitary landfills and beach regeneration programs in Puerto Plata,
Cabarete, Juan Dolio, Boca Chica and Barahona.
The future of tourism is
extremely important to the Dominican Republic, he said. Our
government is dedicated to improving tourist areas and resources,
such as new rest rooms along the coastal areas and new traffic
signals on the highways.
He also said that
the new tax will allow the Dominican Republic to compete with
Mexico, Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations that already have
many of these facilities in place.
The minister, who
recently concluded a series of sales meetings with U.S. tour
operators and agents, said the tax measure was one issue of many
that was discussed.
We explained the
reasoning behind the tax to our travel partners, and said they
should include the new $5 charge in the air ticket or package
price, he said.
originally was scheduled to take effect this month but was delayed
until November because we wanted to give the tour operators enough
time to inform their clients, Jimenez said.
estimated that the new tax would generate close to $22 million a
year in revenue on the basis of arrival figures of 4 million a
Air arrivals in
the Dominican Republic in 2004 topped 3.5 million; from January
through July of this year, the numbers increased 7.75%, and Jimenez
predicted a 10% overall increase by years end.
visitors, tour operators and agents soon will be able to purchase,
pay for and print out the new electronic version of the $10 tourist
visa on the Internet prior to arrival in the Dominican
then hand the form to the customs and immigration agent at the
airport or cruise pier, Jimenez said, noting that the new procedure
will drastically reduce the amount of time spent in the airport or
at the piers when several hundred passengers have to be processed
at the same time.
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].