Guatemala - Cruise passengers exonerated from Maritime tax

Guatemala - Cruise passengers exonerated from Maritime tax

The Guatemala Tourism Board - INGUAT - has announced today that Bill No. 38-2009, which exonerates maritime tax to those cruise passengers remaining on land no longer than 72 hours, has been passed by the Guatemalan Congress.

The bill was passed thanks to the support of most political parties. The Congress’ permanent Finance and Tourism committees were also supportive once the bill, which takes effect immediately, was approved. This measure is expected to have a direct positive impact on communes and micro and small businesses that have a connection with the cruise industry.

‘The cruise industry is a fast growing segment that generates economic benefits to our country in the short and long run. It creates jobs and promotes domestic tourism in just a matter of hours. We are confident that the new bill, supported by an ample political base, will be seen as an incentive by cruise companies that already do business in Guatemala, and make those who don’t yet, to consider us in the future; it’s another step forward in the right direction,’ said Roberto Robles, Director of INGUAT.

The new law will take effect once it appears published on Guatemala’s Official Journal and from then on, Guatemala will be even more attractive to cruise companies. Besides already being a great multicultural destination, the country will offer more incentives for occasional international travelers, promoting this specific segment and helping develop, even more, the national tourism industry.

A research by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), reveals that 50% of cruise travelers always come back to destinations, for a longer stay, that were previously visited for brief time during a cruise vacation. This short stop in Guatemala, according to the research, averages 12 hours.

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Cruise industry: the big winner

In 2008, Guatemala’s foreign-currency income, as a result of cruise industry, reached a record number: 100 million quetzals. Last season, over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs were also created. A total of 105 cruise liners arrived in Puerto Quetzal, on the Pacific coast, and Santo Tomas de Castilla, on the Atlantic.

The cruise industry was also a major force in the growth of other small businesses. From small charter boats to cab drivers, artisans and craftsmanship shops, local artists and restaurants, all benefitted from the commercial activity resulting from 150,000 passengers who disembarked at the ports.

The ongoing 2009-2010 cruise season, which began on October 2nd, has a total of 115 cruises planned on its calendar for this season. Thanks to the new law that exonerates maritime tax, this number of vessels is likely to grow, thus promoting and boosting the cruise tourism industry in Guatemala.


The new law will take effect once it appears published on Guatemala’s Official Journal and from then on, Guatemala will be even more attractive to cruise companies. Besides already being a great multicultural destination, the country will offer more incentives for occasional international travelers, promoting this specific segment and helping develop, even more, the national tourism industry.

A research by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), reveals that 50% of cruise travelers always come back to destinations, for a longer stay, that were previously visited for brief time during a cruise vacation. This short stop in Guatemala, according to the research, averages 12 hours.

Cruise industry: the big winner

In 2008, Guatemala’s foreign-currency income, as a result of cruise industry, reached a record number: 100 million quetzals. Last season, over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs were also created. A total of 105 cruise liners arrived in Puerto Quetzal, on the Pacific coast, and Santo Tomas de Castilla, on the Atlantic.

The cruise industry was also a major force in the growth of other small businesses. From small charter boats to cab drivers, artisans and craftsmanship shops, local artists and restaurants, all benefitted from the commercial activity resulting from 150,000 passengers who disembarked at the ports.

The ongoing 2009-2010 cruise season, which began on October 2nd, has a total of 115 cruises planned on its calendar for this season. Thanks to the new law that exonerates maritime tax, this number of vessels is likely to grow, thus promoting and boosting the cruise tourism industry in Guatemala.