Coronavirus-torn hotels, resorts to get tax relief — Tourism chief

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 10) — The Board of Investments has approved tax incentives for tourism enterprises that would rehabilitate and upgrade their facilities for health and safety purposes, the Department of Tourism said Wednesday.

“Tax incentives include income tax holiday for three years and duty-free importation of capital equipment,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

Romulo-Puyat said hotels, resorts and tourist transport firms are entitled to levy breaks. She added that the BOI will be asked to include tour operators in the list of beneficiaries as they, too, “have to make adjustments for the new normal.”

The incentives would cover renovation of guest rooms, food and beverage outlets, function meeting rooms, recreational areas, other common areas, upgrades of laundry, kitchen, housekeeping and employee facilities, building of full, partial or moveable partitions, and installation of thermal scanners and hygiene gates and booths, the official added.

The BOI’s decision was welcomed by an industry group.

“These BOI incentives will help hotels a lot to pay for their uprates,” Arthur Lopez, Philippine Hotel Owners Association president, said in the same briefing.

Tourism players such as PHOA and the Tourism Congress of the Philippines have been calling for tax breaks for travel and leisure companies, arguing they would help them recover after months of pain. The National Economic and Development Authority has estimated industry losses at about ₱60.25 billion for a two-month shutdown.

Since June 1, tourism businesses in areas under modified general community quarantine have been allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. But they must first comply with basic infection control measures set by authorities.