The tourism levy, also known as the TOMSA levy, is the 1% levy charged to consumers/tourists for marketing South Africa as the preferred tourist destination.
Local and international tourists travelling in South Africa are all required to pay the tourism levy. This applies to both leisure and corporate travellers. Whether you are a travelling tourist or a South African, the tourism levy is charged.
All TOMSA levy collectors add the levy to their rate, which therefore makes it compulsory for the traveller/tourist to pay the levy.
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa, an umbrella organisation representing the interests of the private sector within the travel and tourism industry is the collecting agent of the TOMSA levy. The organisation is the administrator and ensures the collection of the levy from tourism business across the country.
Once the levy is collected on a monthly basis, 93% is transferred to South African Tourism, the tourism marketing organisation in South Africa. The levy acts as an added subsidy to the allocated budget of SA Tourism by government. However, this budget does not compare to other world class destinations who mass market their own destinations. Therefore, SA Tourism uses the levy to add to their marketing budget in order to promote destination South Africa across the globe and locally.
From the 97% that SA Tourism receives quarterly, 15% is used for tactical industry projects namely the collaborative fund. The remaining 7% of the fund is a management fee that TBCSA utilise for the administration of the TOMSA levy initiative.
The levy is used to reinvest capital into the promotion of our country as the preferred tourist destination. The collected levy, once added to the budget of SA Tourism, allows destination South Africa to compete with other destinations globally.
By building and sustainably maintaining South Africa as the preferred tourist destination, greater amounts of money is spent on marketing initiatives that convey a positive message about South Africa. Your 1% tourism levy is key in bringing and attracting international tourists to visit and travel South Africa, which ultimately creates jobs for ordinary South Africans.
The levy is charged and collected from the following services:
The collection of the TOMSA levy by TBCSA and distribution to SA Tourism is governed and regulated by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This outlines the commitment from both public and private sector on the management and usage of levies collected.
All TOMSA levy contributors in good standing are issued with a certificate to validate their legitimacy as a tourism levy contributor. All tourism businesses that collect the levy are showcased on the TOMSA website.