Tourism is booming in Belize, and Belize politicians, like pols everywhere, are ready to take advantage of that fact, especially since tourists don't vote locally. Here are some of the new fees and taxes you'll face:
International Airport Departure Tax & Fees: US$35, up from US$20, effective April 1, 2004
Hotel Room Tax: 9%, up from 7%, effective mid-2005
Sales Tax on Most Items: 9%, up from 8%
Archeological Fees: US$5 at most sites, including Xunantunich, Altun Ha, and Cahal Pech, up from US$2.50; at Caracol, fee is US$7.50. Effective April 1, 2004
Marine Park Fees: US$10 to $15 per person per day, depending on the park, effective November 1, 2004.
Land Border Exit Fee: US$18.75, up from US$13.75, in effect now.
There is some good news, though. Visitors going to Mexico from Corozal for less than seven days will not be charged the US$21 entrance fee by the Mexican government.
--Lan Sluder www.belizefirst.com