Philippines to offer VAT refund to foreign tourists hinh anh 1A beach in Boracay Island of the Philippines (Photo: AFP)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines is set to launch a value-added tax (VAT) refund programme for foreign tourists in 2024 to attract more visitors, according to the country’s Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

The programme was recently approved by President Ferdinand Marcos, Reuters reported.

The Philippine Government collects a 12% VAT on goods consumed within the country.

The plan is to allow foreigners to get a VAT refund on items they are taking out of the Philippines, similar to what many other countries offer.

The measure is among the proposals a private sector advisory council presented to Marcos recently to boost the tourism industry, including improving airport infrastructure and operations and promoting tourism investment, the PCO said in a statement, noting the President has also approved the launch of an online visa this year for Chinese, Indian, Republic of Korean, and Japanese tourists.

The Philippines recorded 2.65 million international visitors last year, who brought in an estimated 3.68 billion USD in revenue, exceeding its 2022 target of 1.7 million tourists, according to the Department of Tourism.

Last year's total arrivals comprised 2.02 million foreign nationals and 628,445 Filipinos based abroad, compared with only 163,879 tourists recorded in 2021 and significantly lower than the pre-pandemic annual level of 8.26 million.

The country’s Government aims to boost visitor arrivals this year to 4.8 million./.