A Travel Tax Credit?

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AFAR has reported that the government in Italy is paying people to travel. In an effort to encourage domestic tourism and revitalize the travel industry, it’s offering what’s become known as a “holiday bonus”.  This will is being offered to lower-income families to encourage spending in hotels, campgrounds, and beach resorts across the country during 2020. Hotels will reduce their prices for eligible guests and travelers can claim expenses as a tax deduction.

In Poland, the country’s ministry of development is considering vouchers amounting to some $242.  It’s not clear yet who would be eligible (more is expected soon).  The money could be used for sporting events, exhibitions, and other entertainment, Travel Weekly reports.

And in Peru, Machu Picchu will reopen with free admission for lower-income families as the government tries to alleviate the projected $4 billion hit to the tourism industry during 2020.

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) have called for tax credits for every family to encourage domestic travel. 

In a policy proposal outlined in late May, the USTA suggested an initiative similar to the homebuyer credit offered following the recent housing crisis.  They want a credit that would encourage domestic business and leisure travel.

The travel industry has been disproportionately hit by the coronavirus pandemic: 51.8 percent of the 15.8 million jobs in the sector have been lost, according to the USTA. The organization’s president and CEO, Roger Dow insists that “our national economy is in a recession, but the travel industry is already in a depression.”

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