On August 1, new rules of payment of tourist fees (bed tax) for foreigners came into force, QazMonitor reports citing the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The bed tax amount is now linked to a monthly calculation index (MCI). According to the order of the Minister of Culture and Sports from July 14, 2023, fixed rates from 0.2 to 0.5 MCI are applied to the tourist fee, which is determined by maslikhats (local representative bodies). In 2023, 1 MCI in Kazakhstan amounts to 3,450 tenge (nearly $7,5 as of August 28).
If there are fewer foreign tourists than a year earlier, the authorities may reduce the rate to the minimum rate. If the number of tourists has increased, the amount of the fee can be increased within the established amounts: 0.2 MCI, 0.3 MCI, 0.4 MCI, and 0.5 MCI. The tourism fee may change depending on seasonality but not more than twice a year.
Tourist fee for foreigners is charged for each day of stay in accommodation facilities, except hostels, guest houses, and rental housing in cities and districts. For a partial day of stay, a tourist is charged a full-day fee. The bed tax is payable at the time of check-in at accommodation facilities and is not included in the price of accommodation.
"Tourist fee for foreigners has been charged in Kazakhstan since the beginning of this year. However, following the results of meetings with entrepreneurs and representatives of the hotel business, it was decided to revise the size of the tourist fee. Previously, it was calculated as a percentage of the cost of accommodation, not in MCI. Such fees are a global practice, which does not cause inconvenience to foreign tourists but allows to replenish the budgets of akimats. Currently, it is being determined which categories of people will be exempted from paying tourist fees. However, this requires amendments to the laws, so it may take a long time," said Vice-Minister of Culture and Sports Yerzhan Erkinbayev.
Since January 2023, the budgets of akimats received nearly 314 million tenge in bed taxes.