Tourism Associations Try to Redirect Spending of 3% Hotel Tax

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Representatives of tourism and business associations in the state met with local congressmen last week to present their plan for the redirection of funds generated from the hotel tax under the Ley de Ingresos for 2012.
In Baja California Sur (BCS), a 3% hotel tax is applied to hotel guests, and currently two percent of that tax is being used for the marketing and promotion of the state, both nationally and internationally.
The remaining one percent is designated for FOIS, or the Trust for Social Works and Infrastructure.  FOIS is divided among the five municipalities of BCS: Loreto, Mulege, Comendo, La Paz, and Los Cabos.  It is distributed according to how much tax is generated in each municipality.  This one percent is used for social works, decided by each municipality.
However, tourism and business representatives would like to see the money that is currently directed towards social projects – estimated to be 36 million pesos annually – redirected towards promoting tourism in the state.
The idea of redirecting all three precent of the hotel tax towards tourism promotion comes from the business sector and tourism associations. Both groups have seen working on this initiative over the past several months, presenting their plan to congressman and municipal officials.  According to 2010 data, the 3% hotel tax represents about 94 million pesos that year.
With the financial crisis still being heavily felt in Mexico, businesses would like to see more money spent on bringing more visitors to the state, and to making BCS a true tourist destination.  They feel the more money directed towards tourism promotion, the state’s number one source of income, the better for all Sudcalifornianos.
Congressmen Gil Cueva, Alberto Treviño, Ernesto Ibarra, and Juan Alberto Valdivia were in attendance, as well as Secretary of Tourism Ruben Reachi, and representatives of the five municipalities of BCS.
Because it is the end of the year, the tourism and business sectors have until the 15th of December to make their case and have the Ley de Ingresos of 2012 amended.

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