Egypt is allegedly considering introducing a VAT tax refund in an effort to boost how much tourists spend when visiting Egypt.

According to the economic advisor to the Minister of Tourism, Dr Adela Ragab, Egypt’s considering reviving the VAT tax refund on goods purchased by tourists.

This proposal originally surfaced in 2009-2010 but was shelved in the aftermath of the 2011 uprising. The goal of the new tax would be to incentivise tourists to buy more during their visits and boost expenditure on locally made products.

A similar tax is currently available for tourists in some European countries, and implementing it in Egypt may boost sales for Egyptian artisans, reigniting interest in Egypt’s heritage and handicrafts market. As it stands, Egyptian products have never been cheaper as the recent floatation of the local currency has drastically dropped the value of Egyptian goods compared to other markets.

The floating of the pound coupled with the wave of flights resuming may explain the small gains noticed this year as, in the first quarter, the average tourist expenditure stood at $65, which increased to $72 in the second quarter, currently reaching around $80.


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