October 24, 2007

A Mexican congressional finance committee has approved a US$5 tax for cruise passengers who visit Mexican ports. The full house and Senate of Mexico must still approve the fee; if they do, the tax could go into effect as soon as early 2008. According to Aurelio Lopez, secretary of tourism for the state of Jalisco, the tax could mean an additional US$3 million in revenue for the next cruise season in Puerto Vallarta alone. The Mexico Tourism Board projects the tax would bring an annual US$30 million windfall nationally, with the bulk of the money being directed to improve the infrastructure of cruise-port cities. "In the short term, this might be difficult for cruise lines and perhaps the passengers," acknowledges Lopez. "But in the long term we think this will be very good for the destinations, which will benefit everyone."