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Tourist Tax Increase

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Tourist Tax Increase

12% retroactive increase in the international passenger fee

As of January 13, the Mauritian government has imposed a retroactive tax increase on tourists.

Originally slated for implementation on January 1, 2024, the policy was disclosed in July 2023, leaving little time for stakeholders to comprehend its potential ramifications. The move significantly amplifies the overall cost of travel, and Air Mauritius has hinted at the possibility of a corresponding increase in the Head Tax imposed by the Mauritian government.

The Passenger International Fee, applicable to travelers heading to Mauritius, will experience a substantial surge from 17.5 USD to 30 USD for children aged 2 to 12, and from 35 USD to 60 USD for passengers aged 12 and above. This hike extends to arriving passengers from Réunion, Madagascar, the Seychelles, and the Comoros. For travelers from the Indian Ocean region, the entry fee has been elevated from 7.5 to 13 USD for ages 2 to 12, and from 15 USD to 26 USD for ages 12 and over.

The decision to retroactively apply this measure has sparked widespread discontent among tour operators, who express greater frustration with the timing rather than the price increase itself. This retroactive application means that even travelers who had already planned their trips to Mauritius are now subject to escalated fees. Mr. Chikli, President of the Syndicat des Entreprises du Tour Operating (SETO), emphasizes that such tourist taxes typically do not impact existing bookings but are instead reserved for future reservations. The union has sought clarification from Mauritian authorities on this matter.

In response to the outcry, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism of Mauritius, Steeve Obeegadoo, stated on January 29 that the government would address the concerns. Obeegadoo emphasized the need for consultation with stakeholders in the affected sectors and the public sector to devise a solution that maintains positive sentiments and fosters continued collaboration with local and international partners.

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