Countries Should Ease Taxes to Promote Tourism, Says PATA Chief

The chief executive officer of an international association promoting tourism in Asia on Tuesday said that governments should stop “taxing and harassing” tourism and focus on building a holistic package to promote it, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

Chief of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Martin Craigs said many governments are stuck in the old mindset of seeing tourism as “something like alcohol and tobacco that needs to be taxed.”

“We (at the PATA) don’t see it like that at all. We see travel and tourism as fundamental to societal development, cross-cultural understanding, empathy and enjoyment,” he told Yonhap prior to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Asia Summit, here.

“It therefore should be nurtured, not taxed and harassed as it is in Europe,” he added.

Meanwhile, citing his research, Craigs said South Korea’s tourism industry has become sophisticated and a model for other Asian countries.

“You have a balance between outbound and inbound. You have native people who are passionate about seeing the rest of the world. You are a fashionable location,” he said, noting that it is very healthy and encouraging from all points of view.

source: BERNAMA, 11 Sept 2013

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