Shafaq News / The spokesman of the Tourism Authority of Kurdistan Region, Nader Rosti said on Wednesday that the authority decided to exempt the tourism sector from paying taxes, due to the damage faced by sector after the outbreak of Corona virus.
"Tourism has stopped for 100%. Last year we received 243,000 tourists in Nowruz, while last Eid al-Fitr we received 250,000 tourists, but this year everything has stopped completely where tourism has almost stopped in the whole world because of Corona pandemic,” Rosti told Shafaq News Agency.
In response to a question about tax exemptions for the hotel and tourism sector by the government due to the suspension of this sector, the spokesman said, "The government decided to exempt tourist facilities from taxes of two months due to the work suspension during the curfew."
“The tourism Board will meet and take the necessary decisions after the end of Corona and the return to normal life taking into consideration the fees, because these fees are taken by the authority,” he added.
In turn, Deputy Chairman of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Kurdistan , Shuker Aziz said that tax exemptions for only two months are not enough because the work of hotels and tourist restaurants has stopped for more than this period.
He added to Shafaq News agency, there are also financial dues that must be paid to the Labor and Social Security Department for workers' insurance at a time when some places were forced to dismiss a number of their workers because work had stopped in them, however, the official authorities are demanding payment of the insurance and this matter makes us pay a lot of financial sums at a time when all our projects are on hold. "
Aziz pointed out that there are 784 hotels and hotel apartments in Kurdistan, 384 in Erbil, 240 in Sulaimaniyah, 160 in Dohuk, noting that at the present time 99% of them are not working as only five-star hotels have some customers or have been taken temporarily as quarantine centers.