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Exit Fees in Latin America

Tourists Pay for Improvements

sunny 79 °F

Saturday, 12/11/10 - Monday, 12/13/10. Yesterday, I was invited for breakfast at the “Change in Latitude” Bed and Breakfast by new owners, Jeanne (pronounced Jan) and Ken. They are from Alberta Canada and decided, after several trips to Ambergris Caye, to make this their permanent home. However, they are a little too young to retire, so hence the purchase of the B&B. We had cinnamon French toast which was to die for. I took them my recipe for shrimp cheviche which I had gotten in Ecuador in exchange.

Sunday is a quiet, family day in Belize so most of the stores were closed. I watched the Cowboys game last night in the bar. Good game, but unfortunately they lost. There was guy from Texas there, so we both cheered them on.

I was checking on the exit fee for Belize this weekend. It is also called a departure tax. I had never heard of it before travelling in Latin America. And, in my research, I don’t believe the US charges foreigners one when they leave. However, I paid $44.30 to leave Ecuador, $20 to leave Panama and I’ll be paying $39.25 when I leave Belize. It’s just another way to get money out of tourists. I’m not sure if it applies in any European countries and some airlines do include it in the cost of your ticket. In addition, this usually only applies to air travel. If you enter a country by bus or boat, it isn’t charged. I guess they figure if you can afford to fly, you can afford to pay to leave the country. I’m told they use the funds to improve the infrastructure to make it more attractive for visitors. I don’t agree that the tourists should be the ones to finance projects that will draw more visitors.

Three more days then I head out to California for Christmas with my favorite cousin, Karen. She is more like a sister to me and we have shared Christmas together many times before. We enjoy each other’s company and always have a great time together. I’m looking forward to coming “home” after all these months of travel.

Posted by Jan Foster 05:44 Archived in Belize

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