If adopted, tourist levy likely more than MOP99

Vice director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Hoi Io Meng has said that the proposed tourist tax, if levied, would likely be more than 99 patacas.

With regard to the actual amount or the implementation of the policy, Hoi said his bureau can only make a decision after further analysis of the data from a recent public survey. In addition, the MGTO will refer to tax in effect in other destinations for comparison.

The tourism authority has conducted research on the feasibility and public perception of a tourist tax. Data was collected in three ways: via the online survey, direct interviews at border checkpoints, and the completion of questionnaires by actors in the tourism sector.

A total of 12,000 local questionnaires, 1,500 answered by tourists and 150 from the industry were received. According to Hoi, sentiment towards the tax has been inconclusive.

There are at least 41 countries in the world that levy a tourist tax.

Japan started the levy, officially “departure tax” and colloquially “sayonara tax”, in January this year. The tax is set at 1,000 yen (MOP74).

Japan’s levy is not only used for the refinement of infrastructure, but is also used to “create a more comfortable, stress-free tourist environment.” Staff reporter

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