SANTO DOMINGO – The bill which creates the National Tourism Development Institute (Indetur) has met resistance in the Chamber of Deputies which if approves it, would give the new entity sweeping powers to propose the “tourism poles,” including the Executive Branch decree for them.
It would give wide powers to the Tourism Minister, who would preside the Institute, to proceed without consulting the Directive Council, forced only to inform that body entity “a posteriori” on its measures.
According to several of its articles Indetur would have unrestricted powers to manage city-planning parameters in the zones declared Tourism Poles, such as room density, disregarding other norms, impose the works of infrastructure it deems appropriate and decide the use for each part of the land.
Indetur could use its funds to declare any part of the national territory a “tourist potential” zone, proceed to detain works and fine proprietors or occupants at its discretion.
The bill’s details were disclosed in yesterday’s session, where Environment Commission president Mario Fernandez and the deputies Agne Berenice Contreras and Eugenio Cedeño questioned that the Indetur Council’s representatives would be “judge and jury.”
The bill is also contradictory as to financing with the tax of eight dollars per passenger transported, charged to regular air lines and charter flights.
The Tourism Ministry currently gets seven dollars as an exit tax and the bill doesn’t clarify the source of the one-dollar increase or if it’s a new tax.
The commission also introduced modifications such as including the city councils within Indetur’s functions to draft the national tourism development plan and the Environment Minister as a member, who was accepted along with a member of the tourism press.