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TOURISM >Culture and Tourism Ministry set to offer VAT cut on art products, hike in ministry budget

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The Culture and Tourism Ministry is set to propose a significant cut in value-added tax (VAT) on art products, Minister Nabi Avcı has said, noting that his ministry could also receive a greater infusion of funds.

“The share of our ministry in the state budget is [5.5 percent], which is quite small compared to many others. In order to increase Turkey’s promotional campaigns abroad, we need to increase this. We’ll do this next year,” Avcı told a group of journalists on the sidelines of the ITB Fair, according to daily Dünya. 

He also said one of the main agendas of the National Culture Council, which was recently staged with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was a rise in the budget for culture and the arts, including a significant cut in the VAT for such products. 

“We will submit the issue to the cabinet soon after we make an impact analysis,” said the minister. 

Noting that tourism players had been hit by a heavy loan burden due to the declining trend in the Turkish Lira’s value, Avcı said, “In this vein, cruise ships have asked for fuel subsidies. We have been evaluating this offer now.”

Turkey recently extended the scope of a $6,000 financial backing program for travel agencies carrying tourists to the country in a bid to boost the sector.

Airlines have already received $6,000 per flight when flying to airports in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya, Antalya’s Alanya, the Aegean resorts of Dalaman, Bodrum and İzmir, as well as the Central Aegean province of Kütahya. According to a notice published in the Official Gazette on Feb. 15, these subsidies will also go into force in airports in the Black Sea provinces of Trabzon, Ordu-Giresun, and Samsun’s Çarşamba, the Aegean province of Denizli, the Mediterranean province of Isparta and the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir. 

Avcı also said a strong recovery should be expected for Turkey’s embattled tourism sector over the course of the year. 

“During the fair, which is the world’s largest; I got very good feedback from sector representatives and travelers. We have also seen very positive developments in the Russian market. We could even witness better figures than we did in 2015,” he said.

March/13/2017

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