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Why Are [International] Airport Taxes So High in Argentina...?

Why Are [International] Airport Taxes So High in Argentina...?

Old Sep 6, 18, 12:10 pm
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Why Are [International] Airport Taxes So High in Argentina...?

...and are people (Argentinians/foreign tourists, tourism industry) pressuring the government to lower these any time soon?

U$79 for one way is certainly the highest in the Americas, and probably the highest in the world (Heathrow probably takes the cake @U$130 one way for long haul).

Officials in Argentina should study basic economic concepts: the country needs tourists to bring in hard currency, especially during hard times like right now. While the high taxes might not deter the occasional tourist who will visit the country once or twice during their lifetimes, it is a powerful deterrent for tourists of neighbouring countries. There are 370mn people living in South America (excluding Argentina, and Venezuela whose citizens aren't going on holiday abroad anytime soon) which Argentina is successfully alienating by keeping high airport taxes high.

I, for one, live in Brazil often don't bother going to Buenos Aires (3h flight) for a long weekend on account of the taxes which can be 1/3 of the total cost of the ticket, sometimes more. Millions of middle-class Brazilians living in in Southeastern Brazil would love to spend their reais in Argentina, but decide against it due to comparatively high airfares.

There is a lower tax for regional international departures, under 300 kms (U$25). That only covers Montevideo, and not even Punta del Este. Meanwhile, Heathrow's definition for short-haul is under 2,000 miles. This distance would cover as far as Lima and Salvador (Brazil), so if the Argentinian authorities objective is to fleece its citizens travelling to the US/Europe, they can rest assured they wouldn't miss out on that cash cow.

Chile just announced that they will gradually lower their airport taxes... will Argentina follow suit?

Rant over...
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Old Sep 6, 18, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by RafKa View Post
...and are people (Argentinians/foreign tourists, tourism industry) pressuring the government to lower these any time soon?

U$79 for one way is certainly the highest in the Americas, and probably the highest in the world (Heathrow probably takes the cake @U$130 one way for long haul).

Rant over...
Take a look at my RT USA/MEX coming up soon. I've got a total of approx. $161 RT, about $83 of which is going to Mexico (which includes an unavoidable tourism tax for foreigners).
Mexico airport dept. tax$55.00Mexico tourism tax$27.91US APHIS user fee$3.96US Customs user fee$5.65US Immigration user fee$7.00US int'l arrival tax$18.30US int'l departure tax$18.30US psgr. facility charge$13.50US Sept. 11 security fee$11.20
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Old Sep 6, 18, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Take a look at my RT USA/MEX coming up soon. I've got a total of approx. $161 RT, about $83 of which is going to Mexico (which includes an unavoidable tourism tax for foreigners).
Mexico airport dept. tax$55.00Mexico tourism tax$27.91US APHIS user fee$3.96US Customs user fee$5.65US Immigration user fee$7.00US int'l arrival tax$18.30US int'l departure tax$18.30US psgr. facility charge$13.50US Sept. 11 security fee$11.20
Hmmm... I guess Mexico is the "winner" in the Americas category. But it does have a "captive" market just north of its borders, which happens to be the world's largest economy, whereas Argentina's large neighbour to the north is a middle-income country with a faltering economy. Foreign tourist arrivals to Mexico in 2017 were 35mln, and only around 6mln in Argentina.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 9:13 pm
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Considering the country's financial condition I can't imagine these taxes or fees going away or being reduced any time soon. US citizens don't have to pay the reciprocity fee so if that does not come back we should be satisfied.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 9:17 pm
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Bravo !!! Having said that, I do agree that those of us that work with the Tourism industry need to do more to push for lowering of taxes that will help the Industry grow. See my post below for details.

Originally Posted by Panam Clipper View Post
Considering the country's financial condition I can't imagine these taxes or fees going away or being reduced any time soon. US citizens don't have to pay the reciprocity fee so if that does not come back we should be satisfied.

Last edited by Gaucho100K; Sep 11, 18 at 7:29 am
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Old Sep 6, 18, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Panam Clipper View Post
Considering the country's financial condition I can't imagine these taxes or fees going away or being reduced any time soon. US citizens don't have to pay the reciprocity fee so if that does not come back we should be satisfied.
Even if they were reduced by say, $25 or $50, it would not materially affect the price of a ticket from North America. From a neighbo(u)ring country, perhaps it would affect travel patterns. But I'd expect that Brazil's economic state of health has a lot more to do with the number of tourists than the number that avoid Argentina because of the taxes/fees.

Last edited by Eastbay1K; Sep 7, 18 at 5:13 pm
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Old Sep 7, 18, 4:11 pm
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A few days ago I redeemed some Avios for a BA ticket from here to London in December, and most of the taxes were UK taxes, but I agree with you LHR is terrible in that regard.

Taxes in Argentina are generally very high, and the air industry is not an exception. And under the current economic climate we shouldn’t expect any changes. That said, foreigners get zero VAT in hotels when paying with credit card, which can be a lot of money.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 5:40 am
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
But I'd expect that Brazil's economic state of health has a lot more to do with the number of tourists than the number that avoid Argentina because of the taxes/fees.
Purely anecdotal evidence, but every single time there's an airfare promo from Brazil to Argentina, the overwhelming reaction is: "if only the departure taxes were lower..."

Which means, the prospective average Brazilian weekend visitor will take their U$500 and spend it locally in Brazil (x1 mln). Is Argentina's economy (not necessarily the govt, through taxes) missing out on an easy source of tourist dollars? It certainly looks like it IMHO.
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Old Sep 11, 18, 7:21 am
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Interesting. Where do you pick up on this overwhelming reaction...? Is this something that you hear on the Radio, or published on Travel Bulletin Boards or where exactly do you receive this feedback. It just sounds strange to me that folks would even know about departure taxes, most travelers just know what ticket prices are and take taxes and regulatory fees as something thats "in there" and you cant do much about.... hence my interest in the point you are making.

BTW, I agree that the Argentine Government needs to do more to reduce tax burden and especially look at what makes Brazilians come down to Argentina - Brazil is the single largest Tourism market for us.... so I take your views & comments very seriously. Also, as I have started to attend meetings of a Group of Entrepeneurs that are looking to petition local and State Authorities to implement regulatory & legislative changes in various aspects that affect our businesses, I welcome all the information/feedback and data points that I can collect to try to start changing things as soon as possible.

Thanks for sharing any additional information you have.



Originally Posted by RafKa View Post
Purely anecdotal evidence, but every single time there's an airfare promo from Brazil to Argentina, the overwhelming reaction is: "if only the departure taxes were lower..."

Which means, the prospective average Brazilian weekend visitor will take their U$500 and spend it locally in Brazil (x1 mln). Is Argentina's economy (not necessarily the govt, through taxes) missing out on an easy source of tourist dollars? It certainly looks like it IMHO.
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Old Sep 11, 18, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by Marambio View Post
(…)That said, foreigners get zero VAT in hotels when paying with credit card, which can be a lot of money (…).
Originally Posted by Gaucho100k
(…)Also, as I have started to attend meetings of a Group of Entrepeneurs that are looking to petition local and State Authorities to implement regulatory & legislative changes in various aspects that affect our businesses(…)


How about mentioning that a neighbour has a zero VAT ALSO (as well as in hotels, for a long time now) IN RESTAURANTS when paying with a foreign CC?
URUGUAY
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Old Sep 12, 18, 8:12 am
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Easy money would be my guess. Especially as it's those who don't mind paying that have the most money to spend once here.
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Old Sep 14, 18, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Marambio View Post
A few days ago I redeemed some Avios for a BA ticket from here to London in December, and most of the taxes were UK taxes, but I agree with you LHR is terrible in that regard.

Taxes in Argentina are generally very high, and the air industry is not an exception. And under the current economic climate we shouldn’t expect any changes. That said, foreigners get zero VAT in hotels when paying with credit card, which can be a lot of money.
My understanding is that foreign visitors paying with foreign credit cards pay zero VAT on the hotel room rate only, but do pay VAT on restaurant meals and other hotel goods and services billed to the room.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 8:28 pm
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Yes, room rates for visitors paying with non Argentine Issued credit cards do indeed pay no VAT.
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