The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has warned Portugal that taxing tourists in order to raise funds for the nation’s bleak economy will become a counterproductive measure in the long term.
Travel and tourism is one of Portugal’s primary industries, equating to 17.8 percent of total employment and contributing €26.2 billion to the country’s total GDP in 2011.
“At a time of economic uncertainty and high unemployment it is even more important that this vital industry should be allowed to contribute to economic growth and job creation, without being burdened with additional taxes which will result in the opposite effect,” WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill said.
“The dramatic increases in VAT imposed on golf, and food & beverage, added to the proposed introduction of a culture tax, plus the possible Algarve tourist tax, are all measures that will damage tourism.”
The President of the Portuguese Republic accepted a joint letter presented by United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the WTTC, requesting he acknowledge the contribution made by the industry in facing today’s global challenges.
“President Anibal Cavaco Silva’s acceptance of our open letter means that over 40 world government leaders have in the last 12 months voiced their support for the Travel & Tourism sector,” Mr Scowsill said.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T