Honduras Creates Incentives for Investment in the Tourism Industry by Means of a New Tourism Promotion Law.-

On August 17th 2017, the official newspaper in Honduras, “La Gaceta” number 34,419, published Legislative Decree Number 68-2017, which contains the TOURISM PROMOTION LAW, coming into effect immediately. As its title suggests, its main objective is to provide incentives and promote the touristic industry and investments in sectors qualified as “of interest to the State of Honduras”, in matter of tourism. The principles that govern this law are: cost and benefit, competitiveness, equity, equality, legality, proportionality and transparency, stating that the people or entities that comply with parameters established by the law, dedicated to touristic services or activities previously qualified by the Honduran Institute of Tourism (IHT), that may benefit from the prerogatives it contemplates, are the following:  

  1. a) Touristic Industry Services;
  2. b) Tourism Related Enabling Infrastructure;
  3. c) Specific Investments in Tourism;
  4. d) Tourism Related Activities;
  5. e) Touristic Services Offers and
  6. f) Transportation Services for Tourism.  

The fiscal incentives that the projects subject to the benefits of the law in the abovementioned sectors, will enjoy are:        

  1. Income, Assets, Solidary Contribution plus related taxes exemption for up to fifteen (15) years;  
  1. Income or any withholding tax exemptions, caused by payment of indispensable services or fees for studies, installation, engineering, construction and project monitoring for up to five (5) years;   
  1. Sales tax exemption over local purchases of goods and services directly linked to construction, renovation or restauration, new infrastructure, complimentary investments for qualified touristic investments by the Honduran Tourism Institute, for up to ten (10) years; and  
  1. Benefits contained in the Customs Law such as Import Tax, Selective Consumer Tax and all custom related taxes, rates and general and special contributions and others relative to imports, as well as local purchase of resources, goods and equipment directly related with the development, installation, construction, equipping, repair, replacement and maintenance of the touristic project for up to ten (10) years. 

 

On the other hand, this Tourism Promotion Law contemplates the emission of Fiscal Stability Agreements, without any further requirements than the resolution authorized by the Ministry of Finance. By means of this incentive, the qualified company subject to the benefits of the law will maintain them in accordance to the terms and conditions in which the investment shall be completed. Additionally, it contemplates the possibility of obtaining immigration benefits to those who qualify as investors in accordance to the referenced law.   

The Tourism Promotion Law creates the “TOURISM INVESTMENT, INCENTIVES AND PROMOTIONS FUND”, the FITUR, whose main objective is to provide financing for the promotion and development of the tourism industry in Honduras. Among the sphere of its attributions, the FITUR shall: identify sites for touristic project development; purchase, rent or sell land or creation of associations with landowners for the development of touristic projects; execute directly or by means of third parties, the touristic development pole impulse plans; design and construction of basic infrastructure; create, among others, open credit lines to support air, land and maritime national transport with touristic purposes and protection of natural reserves and parks.     

Finally, the law comprehends tax amnesty for the term of six months for fines, interest rates and other charges owed by operating touristic projects who have not complied with the environmental license requirement nor its renovation or the environmental measures compliance report before the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines. In Lexincorp-Honduras, we count with a duly qualified team to provide proper legal advice to protect your investment in tourism and so you may obtain the most amount of benefits according to the law. For more information please contact me at the following e-mail address: alazarus@lexincorp.com.

 

Aída Guillermina Lázarus Wills