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ALTA: Proposed Colombian travel tax will damage competitiveness
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ALTA: Proposed Colombian travel tax will damage competitiveness

The Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) has spoken out against a national air passenger travel tax"”which would charge a COP8,000 ($2.86) fee for Colombian passengers and COP13,935 fee for international passenger"”proposed by Bogota, Colombia mayor Enrique Peñalosa, who said the tax is necessary for road infrastructure investment.

In its April newsletter, ALTA warned the proposed increase in taxes and fees could damage the competitiveness of Colombia"™s primary air terminals, particularly Bogota"™s El Dorado International Airport (BOG). "El Dorado is the third-largest airport in the region, moving more than 30 million passengers per year," ALTA said. "Increasing the airports taxes would negatively affect competition and [BOG"™s] potential to become a regional hub compared to airports in nearby countries, such as Panama."

ALTA member airlines represent over 90% of the Latin American-Caribbean region"™s commercial air traffic.

The organization directed its response to "all mayors in cities with airports within Colombia," reminding that the travel and tourism industry makes up about 6% of Colombia"™s GDP, with over half of incoming tourists arriving by air. "Colombian tourism potential is in full development," ALTA said. "This sector has become an engine for the country"™s economy."

ALTA said its concerns are backed up by IATA and ATAC (Asociación de Transporte Aé"‹reo en Colombia).

The association urged Colombian mayors to keep air travel rates competitive, and to continue with initiatives similar to the reduction of airport taxes at Cartagena Airport in 2015, achieved in coordination with Colombia"™s Aeronáutica Civil authority. "With this tax reduction, the city of Cartagena got a great jump in air traffic and tourism development, resulting in more supply and demand, more opportunities for people to fly and direct benefits to the Colombian economy," ALTA said…

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