TIRANA, April 6 (Xinhua) -- The Albanian government decided Thursday to cut the value added tax for the sector of tourism from the current level of 20 percent to only 6 percent as a way to boost investments in this sector and formalize it, the cabinet said.
The reduction of tax had been long requested by the tour operators and businesses operating in this sector, considering it as among the highest in region.
Considering that Albania gained over one billion euros (1.07 billion U.S. dollars) during 2016 from the sector of tourism, the government has decided to lower tax on tourism facilities in order to also promote the formalization of the sector, Albanian minister of finance Arben Ahmetaj told reporters.
According to him, recent data showed that tourism has become one of the main contributors of economic growth and employment in Albania and therefore the government believes that it should be promoted with a serious fiscal facilitation from 20 pct to 6 pct.
Ahemtaj said that VAT reduction in the sector of tourism put Albania into competitive levels with the other countries of the region, but even with the other countries that have a strong tourism industry.
Through this measure, the Albanian government intends to add a new impulse to the sector, the minister said.
Also the business community welcomed the government's initiative to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 20 pct to 6 pct for accommodation facilities in the tourism sector.
At a joint press conference, heads of business associations operating in the market, praised this initiative as very important for the development of this sector.