Billions in tourism tax set to boost the sector

At least $9m (about Shs22b) is expected to be raised annually from the Tourism Development Levy (TDL) tax to create alternative funding for tourism, the government has said.
The tax, which will be operationalised in the next financial year, will be levied on major areas, including hotels, food, gym, among other tourist service providers.
The Minister of Tourism, Ms Maria Mutagamba, said the money will go to the Tourism Development Fund.
“The Uganda Tourism Act provides for the minister after consultation with the minister responsible for financing by statutory order imposes a Tourism Development Levy,” Ms Mutagamba said .
“Implementation of this section has been hampered by the existence of the Local Hotel Service Tax which competes for the same source,” she added.
She made the revelation during the inauguration of the new Uganda Tourism Board of directors at the weekend.
The board’s 2013/2014 funding will remain at Shs1.4 billion despite a funding gap of Shs17 billion from the last financial year.
The challenges
The 11 members come at a time when the board has challenges ranging from financial constraints, poorly motivated, unskilled work force to institutional capacity issues.
The board chairman, Mr James Tumusiime, said they will address the funding issue during their tenure.
“The board will take interest, especially in the Tourism Development Levy, the Tourism Fund and the finalisation of the tourism Regulations for operational using the Tourism Act 2008,” he said.

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