As a means to raise funds for the country’s conservation and tourism efforts, the Botswana government has introduced a $30 Tourism Development Levy (TDL) for non-SADC visitors entering the country.
The announcement was made through the Botswana Tourism Organisation by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, and will come into effect in June 2017. The levy will be valid over a 30-day period for each traveller.
According to www.botswanatourism.co.bw, “the objective of the levy is to raise funds for conservation and national tourism development in order to support the growth of the industry and broaden the tourism base, resultantly improving the lives of the people of Botswana”.
The levy has, however, received criticism from the tourism community, with the chairman of the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB), Dr Thapelo Matsheka, raising concerns when the levy was proposed in 2016. It was subsequently withdrawn.
Once it is in place on 1 June 2017, travellers will be able to pay for the levy electronically at the country’s various ports of entry. They will then receive a receipt to present to immigration officials to be verified and stamped along with their passports.