8 September 2012

Tunisia: Government Plans to Apply Tax on National Air Companies' Turnover

Tunis — The Interim Government plans to apply a new tax on the turnover of national airlines. Revenues from this tax will serve for strengthening interventions of the Fund of Tourism Business Development.

This new tax, which will not exceed 1% of the turnover of these airlines, will be included in the 2013 Finance Law.

Tourism Minister Elyes Fakhfakh, Saturday, told TAP during a visit to the Medina of Tunis that "air companies generate significant turnover in tourist transportation."

This tax is likely to involve all stakeholders in the tourism sector in the promotion and development of this business, he added.

The minister also said "Tunisia has to conquer new tourism markets and needs additional financial resources to fund its marketing campaigns," which should be "large," all the more so that the State contributes to funding these campaigns to the tune of 80%.

It is essential to design new funding mechanisms and involve the private sector and sides that benefit of tourism revenues, he added.

Mr. Fakhfakh said this new measure will touch on, initially, air companies before being generalised to cover restaurants, hotels and all stakeholders in the tourism business.

He also indicated that air companies will be informed of this decision and negotiations will start with them, since 70% of their turnover come from tourist transportation.

The Tourism Minister also said his department plans to create in the next couple of months a company specialising in the management of assets of hotel units that have a high volume of debt.

It should be noted that the volume of debt in the tourist sector would exceed 1 billion dinars.

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