Tourists visiting the Mexican state of Baja California Sur will be encouraged to pay a voluntary contribution of 350 pesos (approximately $18.50) starting Saturday, November 9, 2019.
The contribution will be charged directly to tourists and will be payable at kiosks located at airports for travelers arriving by air, while the port authority will be responsible for collecting the tax from tourists who arrive by sea, according to Mexico News Daily. Hotels and other accommodation providers will charge visitors who arrive via land. Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis says visitors will also be able to pay the tax on a website and mobile app.
The state, which is home to such popular destinations as Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and La Paz, says the charge is to be used for “use of Infrastructure” and “social service works.” The Associated Press adds that resorts in Mexico are often surrounded by poor communities and resorts have been criticized for doing little to benefit them. The Baja California Sur government expects to raise 490 million pesos (approximately $25.6 million) annually from the tax, which was approved by the state Congress in 2016 but was only enacted now.
There are some fears by Mexico’s Senate of the Republic that the tax could frighten off tourists and cause a loss of jobs.