Government has announced that it will start rolling out the Tourism Development Levy (TDL) on June 1, 2017 which has been approved by Cabinet.
The levy paid will be US$30 (P300) for all non-citizens or non-residents of the SADC region, and the will be charged at all points of entry (airports and border gates).
Announcing the development recently at the annual HATAB conference in Kasane, Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) Executive Manager Investment and Product Development Tafa Tafa said the levy will be collected by unmanned electronic kiosks. He added that the levy will be charged and paid before the visitor passes through immigration at entry points or online prior to departure.
Tafa further stated that the levy will be collected by BTO, adding that the funds will be submitted to Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on a quarterly basis.
He said through the, Permanent Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resource Conservation and Tourism, BTO will request for release of funds against approved budgets for operations.
“There will be annual audit of levy. Roll out for the machines will be done in three stages starting from the busiest points of entry,” he said.
Explaining the payment facilitation, Tafa said it is through credit and debit card (Visa/ MasterCard) adding that cash will be in US Dollars. He further stated that LED messaging will indicate when a machine is out of order.
He said if no other machine is available, Immigration will be advised ref “No Receipt” and payment of levy will be waived. Tafa also stated that receipt will be valid for 30 days to service multi entry visitors and that receipt will be unique to each passport. He added that online prepayment for the TDL will be in service by July 1, 2017.
Minister Tshekedi Khama stated that tourism levy objectives are in line with the objectives of BTO. He said projects supporting the aims of the TDL will be presented by BTO for review by the Tourism Development Levy Management Committee (TDLMC).
He further said that projects granted funding through the TDL will undergo formal monitoring and evaluation throughout the funding period.
“An independent audit of the TDL will be undertaken annually by government,” said Khama.