Exempting incoming tourism field from VAT to contribute to increasing number of tourists in Armenia

Exempting incoming tourism field from VAT to contribute to increasing number of tourists in 
        Armenia

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 22, ARMENPRESS. The restoration of privilege to exempt the incoming tourism packages from Value Added Tax will contribute to implementing the goals aimed at increasing the number of tourists.In an interview with ARMENPRESS the representatives of the State Tourism Committee and the private sector attached a great importance to the adoption of the draft law submitted by the finance ministry.“The privilege to exempt the incoming tourism packages from VAT has been removed in the last Tax Code which should come into force from January 2018. But after the discussions with the private sector the finance ministry presented the draft law on making changes and amendments in the Tax Code. This included also the restoration of the privilege of exempting from VAT. The restoration of this privilege is one of the complex actions envisaged under the government’s program”, first vice president of the State Tourism Committee Mekhak Apresyan said.Under the government’s program it is planned to increase the number of incoming tourist visits to Armenia up to 3 million annually in the upcoming 5 years. “Among the actions being implemented on this path is the creation of favorable business environment, in this case, a favorable tax regime”, Apresyan said.Apresyan also attached importance to the public-private sector discussions for the development of the draft law. “According to statistics, the number of incoming tourism visits increases every year in Armenia which means that we are on the verge of competitiveness. And each factor, for instance, the additional tax burden, unjustified increase in prices by the private sector, can negatively affect our country’s tourism competitiveness”, Mekhak Apresyan said.The Union of Incoming Tour-operators of Armenia has also been engaged in the discussions. “We have presented an analytical note to Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and minister of economic development and investments Suren Karayan. Together with the tour-operators we managed to correctly present that the removal of the privilege will negatively impact our country’s competitiveness in the region”, head of the Union Karine Davoyan said.According to her, otherwise the tour packages would become more expensive, and also taking into account the fact of not having direct flights with many countries, the number of tourists to Armenia will be reduced. “The prices of tour packages in Armenia for the services provided are affordable, the only problem is the absence of direct flights to Armenia. However, over the past years there is also an improvement on this matter, already direct flights are operated from many countries. This year the drastic increase of tourists in Armenia can be an impetus for many airlines to launch direct flights to Armenia”, the head of the Union said. One of the founders of tour-operators told ARMENPRESS that even in case of the use of VAT they didn’t expect a drastic decrease in the number of tourists since Armenia provides high-quality services.Anna Grigoryan 



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