The introduction of the Botswana tourism development levy of $30 has been cancelled to allow government more time to consult the industry, says Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Jimmy Opelo.
The proposed levy was intended to sustain tourism facilities. It will be resubmitted to parliament after thorough consultation with the tourism industry and in accordance with established procedure. This is the case after the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) were highly unsatisfied with the lack of consultation during the initial drafting of the levy.
HATAB CEO, Lily Rakorong, says that there was a need to change the name from 'entry levy' to 'tourism development levy'. In addition, Rakorong called on the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Planning under the Consolidated Fund to ensure that there is accountability and transparency.
The collection of the levy had been contracted out to a UK-based company by the Botswana Tourism Organisation. The company was supposed to collect $30 from tourists at some designated points of entry. The Botswanan government was to take $12 while the UK-based company would receive the lion’s share at $18.
Top Image: Bushtracks archive - Bomani Tented Lodge
Bottom Image: Botswana Tourism Organisation - Chobe National Park