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Zero tax for travel business will not give most companies

Correspondent of EastRussia interviewed representatives of Far Eastern business and came to the conclusion that it would not be easier to work

18 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law that amended the Tax Code of the Russian Federation. This law provides for preferential taxation for companies engaged in tourism business in the Far East. If the enterprise receives at least 90% of the total income from tourism and recreational activities, then it has a zero tax rate for five years. EastRussia has learned that they think of a new measure of support to those to whom it is addressed.

Zero tax for travel business will not give most companies
Photo: One of the most painful problems is the lack of the ability to legally fish on alloys. Photo by Alexander Piragis /
Representatives of the tourism business consider: this tax break is a measure of extremely timely. Interest in the Far East is growing rapidly, both among compatriots and abroad. The flow of tourists is higher than ever.

- We have long been accustomed to, that a lot of tourists from China come to us. And now the stream has gone from Korea, Japan and other countries of Southeast Asia. This year, for example, for the first time we are accepting a group from the Philippines, - says Natalya Sorokina, general director of Vladivostok LLC Dalintourist. - There is growing interest from European tourists. We used to take almost exclusively English-speaking guests. And now they come to us from France and from Spain.

Unfortunately, however, tax breaks did not make life easier for Dalintourist, one of the largest tour operators in Primorye.

- We, like most companies of the tourism industry, work under a simplified taxation scheme, and the new law does not apply to it. A zero rate on profit is not about us. We both paid 6% of turnover, and we pay, - says Natalia Sorokina.

Magadan LLC "Kauryur Travel", which organizes adventure, ecological and fishing tours, operates under a simplified, and not by general taxation scheme. Therefore, nothing has changed for the company either.

- Of course, if we were allowed five years not to pay tax, it would help. And not only us. I think, then many of those who now are engaged in tourist business illegally, without creating legal entities would be legalized. Tourist companies would be more, and this would stimulate the development of tourism in the region, - said the director of the enterprise Arthur Fedorov.

Can a new tax break become an incentive for companies to switch to the main tax system? It is unlikely that the interviewed entrepreneurs agree. Indeed, in addition to income tax, there is still VAT, and this entails not only costs, but also additional administrative costs.

However, tour operators do not regret very much that they have not been touched by the new law. From the state they are waiting for help in another - in the development of the infrastructure of the Far East, and above all - the transport infrastructure.

“Of course, I would like the hotels in Vladivostok to be finally built, which should have been ready as early as 2012,” Natalya Sorokina smiles. - But first of all, the flow of tourists from other regions of the country is constrained by the high cost of tickets. For comparison: rest in Thailand with accommodation costs about 30 thousand per person. And the same amount will have to pay for only one air ticket from Moscow to Vladivostok. In high season, prices are simply exorbitant.

Colleague's opinion is shared by Daria Salenko, general director of the travel company "Three Whales" from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Expensive air tickets are a real scourge for Sakhalin tourism industry

- Until there is a normal transport infrastructure, the prospects for tourism in our island region are few. The high prices for air travel are half the trouble. In principle, the lack of roads. Now they are only in the south of Sakhalin, and in the north they are not at all. The road to the north of the island is being built, but it is not yet ready. Therefore, we are deprived of the opportunity to normally get to many very interesting places. We have, for example, wonderful hot springs. And now we do not even offer foreign tourists there to visit.

Many cities of the Far East are built on the seashore, but they do not benefit from their location.

- Now you can get to Magadan only by plane or by car. Passenger flow through the sea we do not. As there are no people who could buy or build cruise ships at their own expense. Such people in Magadan do not live, - Artem Fedorov jokes. - It is from the state that we are waiting for investments in infrastructure. Including in the development of small aircraft, which is now in its infancy. This would help to get to the many natural beauties that we want, but can not show to tourists.

The absence of transport infrastructure complains in all regions of the Far East without exception.

- If we have potentially interesting tourist places, then there are no roads there. If there are roads, then there are no tourist places. Infrastructure is something that needs to be developed in the first place, ”echoed Dmitry Kondratenko, deputy director of Far Eastern Phoenix LLC, a travel company from Blagoveshchensk, to colleagues. - Therefore, tax holidays are, of course, good, but this is not enough. In order for tourism in the Far East to develop, the state must do much more, be integrated.

The tourist infrastructure is not only transport, but also comfortable recreation centers and hotels. With them in the Far East, too, trouble. Not because of the quantity. Because of the cost.

- There are plenty of hotels in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, but the pricing policy ... Prices bite. When foreign tourists ask for a price, we calculate the cost of living, and people immediately lose interest. Room with a bathroom, we are from 5 thousand rubles. 4 thousand - number without window. Who agrees to pay the same amount for such a number? - outraged Daria Salenko. - There are, of course, budget hotels. But with one bathroom for the whole floor. What kind of foreigner would that be?

And in Kamchatka, neighbors are jealous. Those at least have hotels, even if they are expensive.
"Our tourist infrastructure is completely absent now. There is nothing of what is included in it. No roads, no hotels, no bases, no art objects, no information stands, - a representative of Kamchatka Travel Agency, who shared his opinion on condition of anonymity, admitted. - In Kamchatka in general, there is only what we can do on our own. We build recreation centers, tourist shelters, we enclose places where tourists are brought - all you will not list. The state should support the tour operators of the Far East in all possible ways. Allocate additional subsidies to them. Provide an opportunity to obtain preferential loans for the development of the region's infrastructure. Only then will this make sense.

Without enthusiasm, tour operators belong to another idea of ​​the authorities - to create a branded interregional tourist route in the region. Something comparable to the Golden Ring.

- Such a route would certainly help attract foreign tourists. But the most promising direction for the Far East, where there are a lot of natural parks, reserves, zakazniks, is ecological tourism. So, we again rest in the absence of roads, the inability to get to places of interest to tourists, - says Dmitry Kondratenko.

The project with the conventional name "Eastern Ring of Russia" may not work and because of the climatic features of the region. Daria Salenko recalled that the departure for the Kuriles can be expected at the airport on 5, for 6 days. No one knows in advance whether the weather will be flying or not. And how to plan a trip in unpredictable conditions? Unknown.

Tour operators are expecting from the state not only support in building infrastructure. They need another kind of help - legislative. Now they are deprived of the opportunity to develop the most promising types of tourism for the Far East. Such as trophy fishing, for example.

"The current law on fishing simply cuts us in a living way," complains Arthur Fedorov. - One of our most popular products is a rafting along the mountain rivers. During rafting, tourists want to not only admire the beauties of the Far East. They also want to fish. Try our freshest, freshly caught fish, which no one in Moscow, in the central regions of Russia has ever seen or tried. Do not harvest it on an industrial scale, but just boil an ear from 3-5 fish for a group, try caviar. And we now do not have the opportunity to legally offer them this. The federal legislation simply does not take into account that in general there is such a tourist direction as sport fishing, alloys. Everyone is frightened by poachers and everything is forbidden, instead of thinking - and how to create conditions for the work of tourist companies?

The Magadan envies Kamchatka. He says: it's easier to work there. You can rent a land plot, build a recreation center on it, get a license - and sell licensed fishing to tourists on the leased land.

- And this law allows. And what about rafting? We are not tied to a certain point. We can not rent plots along the entire route. How do we explain to tourists that only here you can go fishing, and then, through 100 meters, the license area is over and you can’t fish there anymore? There used to be a way out. It was possible to get the so-called "vouchers for boiler meals." They gave the right, without breaking the law, to fish in certain quantities. For food. Now these vouchers canceled. And no one knows how to be. No one can say how to legitimize such a promising direction as float tourism.

And yet, the entrepreneur believes that the legal obstacles will be eliminated. After all, this experience is already there. Last year, in the Magadan Region, movement of spawning rivers was banned during the course of salmon. But with the help of the local administration we managed to solve the problem. An exception was made for legal entities providing tourist and recreational services.

“And that's thanks, and that's good.” This is one step towards us. Well, if they take one more step, they will make changes to the law on gold mining, which does not allow developing another promising tourist destination. Now many people would like to try on the role of a prospector - to come to the gang, to try to wash gold with a pan ... It would seem that all these are nuances and trifles, but it is these little things that put the wheels in the wheel.
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