TOAB demands to continue the existing VAT exemption

Guests at a press conference organised by TOAB on 11 June 2024 at the Nasrul Hamid Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity.Courtesy

The finance minister proposed to withdraw the existing VAT exemption on tour operator services in the proposed budget announced on 6 June, stated a press release.

In this context, president of tour operators association of Bangladesh (TOAB) and chairman of FBBCI Travel, Tour and Hospitality standing committee Md Rafeuzzaman demanded to maintain the existing VAT benefits of tour operators for the sake of developing tourism industry in a press conference organised by TOAB today, Wednesday at the Nasrul Hamid Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity.

Since, tour operators collect tourism elements from various sectors and create packages for convenient and comfortable travel for tourists. VAT is given while renting hotel rooms, purchasing transport tickets, paying restaurant bills as well as for purchasing tickets for various tourist attractions and amusement parks.

It even applies to other tourism services. Tour operators provide services to tourists by combining all the mentioned tourism elements. Now, if VAT is applied to the tourism components which are added to the combined package, the package price and travel cost will increase significantly.

As a result, the entire tourism industry, especially inbound and domestic tourism, will be severely affected. As the tourism industry is a vast and multi-sector one, the withdrawal of existing VAT facility may hinder the development of a thriving tourism industry in Bangladesh.

Notably, the tourism industry of Bangladesh was created by the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. His daughter prime minister Sheikh Hasina is creating vast opportunities in tourism sector by her skillful management.

By imposing vat in tour operation services, the tourism sector will be greatly hindered. Not only this, the tourism industry can both earn and save hard-earned foreign exchange through tour operators.

Immediately after the budget announcement, a delegation led by the TOAB president met with FBCCI president Mahbubul Alam to discuss the withdrawal of proposed vat on tour operator services. Md Rafeuzzaman drew the attention of journalists to this matter so that this demand of TOAB would attract the attention of the authorities concerned.

Among others, former CEO of Bangladesh Tourism Board (additional secretary) Jabed Ahmed, TOAB vice president Md Anwar Hossain, TOAB IPP and governing body member of Bangladesh Toursim Board Shiblul Azam Koreshi, TOAB director (media and public relation) Md Younus spoke at the press conference.

TOAB directors, advisors, honorary members, secretary and journalists from print and electronic media were present at the press conference. Later, the TOAB president of answered various questions from the journalists.

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