TOURISM Development Levy (TDL) will be used effectively to develop wildlife tourism and increase the number of tourists visiting the attractions in the country. Deputy Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Ms Mary Masanja said the target is to reach five million tourists a year by 2025.
To achieve this, the deputy minister said there are a number of plans including the effective use of tourism development levy in improving infrastructures and other services. She gave the assurance here when answering Mohammed Jumah Soud (Donge-CCM), who wanted to know how TDL is being used to support Wildlife Development Fund as well as the tourism sector to increase the number of tourists vising the attractions.
Ms Masanja said TDL was introduced in 2008 to develop tourism products, to control and monitor the standards and quality of tourism industry and business, promotions of tourism attractions and capacity building for the sector to conduct research whose findings will be used to improve the sector performance.
However, after amendment of the financial services in 2020, TDL collection levies are now carried jointly by the ministry and the Tanzania Revenue Authority and the revenue collected is deposited in government coffers. On the part of wildlife, she said Wildlife Conservation Fund is in place and it caters across a number of wildlife protection and conservation issues which are within the national parks and outside the scope.
December last year, the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism handed over a newly reviewed tourist Bed Night Levy to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) expected to provide a list of registered tourism accommodation facilities liable to pay charges. The levy is in line with the Tourism Act no. 29 of 2008, 59 (2) together with the Tourism Development Levy (TDL) Regulations that started enforcement immediately after appearing in the government gazette in October 1, 2013.
TRA has been using accommodation list introduced in 2015 for collection of Bed Night Levy for 1,200 facilities that were available that time. The updated TDL came into effect after the government learnt that the 2015 list is out-dated because the number of accommodation facilities has increased after recognizing 577 new accommodation services providers making a total of 1815 accommodations facilities countrywide that are supposed to pay Bed Night Levy.
During the event, the government put its plans to review all accommodation facilities in the country with the aim of expanding the range for TRA to collect tax.