Kazakhstan Introduces New Rules for Foreign Tourist Taxes

ASTANA – Kazakhstan introduced tourist fees at fixed rates ranging from 0.2 ($1.49) to 0.5 ($3.72) monthly calculation index (MCI), determined by local maslikhats (local representative bodies), following the order of the Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sports Askhat Oralov dated July 14, the ministry’s press service reported on Aug. 28.

Photo credit: forbes.kz.

As of Aug. 1, the maslikhats can adjust the tourist fee rates depending on the number of foreign tourists compared to the previous year. If there are fewer tourists, the rate may be reduced to the minimum sum. If tourist numbers increase, the fee can be raised within the established range of 0.2 MCI ($1.49), 0.3 MCI ($2.23), 0.4 MCI ($2.98) and 0.5 MCI ($3.72).

The tourist fee can change based on season, but only up to two times per year.

The fee is charged for each day of stay at the time of check-in at accommodation facilities, excluding hostels, guest houses, and rental housing in cities and districts. It is not included in the accommodation’s price. Also, a full-day fee is charged for partial days of stay.

According to Vice Minister of Culture and Sports Yerzhan Yerkinbayev, the shift from a percentage-based fee to an MCI-based fee was considered following the meetings with entrepreneurs and hotel owners after the tourist fee introduction in early 2023.

“Such fees are a global practice that does not inconvenience tourists while contributing to budgets of akimats (local administrations),” he said.

Currently, the ministry is working on classifying categories of people exempted from paying the fee, but it may take longer, as any changes would require law amendments.

Since the beginning of 2023, local budgets have received about 314 million tenge ($677,972) from foreign tourists’ contributions.

Last year, around one million foreign tourists brought Kazakhstan 389 billion tenge ($841.9 million), a record result on taxes from tourism activities.

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