ARGENTINA | COUNTRY TO REIMBURSE VAT FOR FOREIGN TOURISTS

Good news for everyone planning a visit to Argentina!

 Argentine President Mauricio Macri has announced that foreign tourists will be reimbursed for the VAT on their hotel stays in the country, a measure which will be implemented with immediate effect. This policy had been requested by the tourism industry for more than 15 years, and is aimed at maintaining and advancing Argentina’s competitiveness in the industry.

VAT in Argentina is currently at 21%. This policy, which is now in place, will cost the state US$37.7m (GB£30.28m), according to Minister of Tourism Gustavo Santos. It is hoped that, within a year of its implementation, an extra 95,000 tourists will visit the country, generating an extra US$70m (GB£56.22m).

Gonzalo Robredo, Executive Director of the Tourism Organisation of Buenos Aires, said: “We are expecting a great boost to tourism in Buenos Aires from this announcement. As well as being Argentina’s capital and one of the largest, most dynamic and diverse cities in Latin America, Buenos Aires offers a great range of high-end and boutique hotels which will be at the forefront of capitalising on this news.”

The Bill in favour of the measure emphasised the importance of tourism to the Argentine economy, and the need for “a simple, direct and automatic mechanism to reimburse VAT to foreign tourists, in order to improve the competitiveness of the Argentine tourism industry”. This will apply to accommodation and breakfast, when the latter was included as part of the accommodation package, and the reimbursement will take place immediately at the point of payment.

In order to qualify, payments must be made with a foreign credit or debit card. Tourists will need to provide name and surname, nationality, residency and passport or ID number. If the bookings are made by travel agencies or tour operators, these will need to provide this information on behalf of their clients.

This measure comes in light of similar policies implemented by other countries and reflects a growing understanding of the importance of tourism to the global economy, as well as a renewed drive by Argentina’s government to attract trade and investments from around the world.