What’s all this talk of TOMSA?

Your verification agency may have asked you if you are a TOMSA levy collector and if not told you that you are losing out on earning points towards your BEE Scorecard. But what is it? Other than another travel acronym to add the long list, you may think.

TOMSA (Tourism Marketing Levy South Africa) is a private-sector initiative aimed at raising funds for the marketing of destination South Africa. Levy collectors range from accommodation establishments, tour operators and even car rental agencies, in fact any other companies whose core business is focusing on facilitating arrangements for inbound tourists visiting South Africa.

The levy is voluntary and collected by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and is given to South African Tourism to fund their extensive marketing commitments to promote South Africa as a tourist destination.

South African travel agents currently are not TOMSA levy collectors and hence ASATA Members are not required to contribute to the fund. ASATA Members are primarily involved in facilitating travel arrangements for South Africans whether it is for their corporate or leisure activity. For their domestic travel arrangements those travellers will pay the TOMSA levy in their capacity as a guest of the hotel, guest house, ground transport operator and or other companies in the supply chain.

In March the TOMSA Board agreed to extend their levy collector base to travel agents and other Tourism industry partners but no indication has been forthcoming as to the amount to be collected and ASATA has a concern that this would in fact be a double whammy for our customers as they would be paying the levy when they stay at most local hotels.

There is no doubt that we would support initiatives that encourage the promotion of South Africa but are cautious about burdening our customers with any further taxes or levy’s at this time!

If you need a letter explaining this position to your verification agency, please send a request to general@asata.co.za