Kazakhstan has amended the regulations on bed tax for foreign tourists, abolishing the fee entirely, QazMonitor reports citing the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
On December 27, 2023, by Order No. 347 of the Minister of Tourism and Sports of Kazakhstan, amendments were introduced to regulations governing tourist fees for foreigners, commonly known as the bed tax.
The key modification entails the implementation of a zero rate nationwide, effective from January 9, 2024.
Previously, foreign tourists faced daily fees for stays in accommodation facilities, excluding hostels, guest houses, and rental housing in cities and districts.
The initiation of the tourist tax in Kazakhstan on January 1, 2023, stirred dissatisfaction among representatives of the country's tourism and hotel industry.
Initially set at a 5% tax rate for Astana, discussions were ongoing regarding its application in Almaty and Shymkent. Entrepreneurs, discontent with the "absence of a clear mechanism for collection, transfer, and utilization of the collected funds," urged a revision of the government resolution.
In August 2023, Yerzhan Yerkinbayev, Vice Minister of Culture and Sports, announced a decision to reassess the tourist fee, opting to use the Monthly Calculation Index (MCI) as a basis instead of a percentage of accommodation costs.
In October of the same year, Yerkinbayev declared the decision to rescind the tourist tax during a briefing at the Central Communications Service, citing inconveniences for both domestic businesses and foreign tourists. Despite having collected around 500 million tenge since the system's inception, the decision was made to promptly suspend the bed tax.