You may have heard about the recent tax increase imposed upon all tourism operators in Tanzania. Approved and enacted with little warning by the Tanzanian government (in less than 30 days from start to finish), this tax will add an additional 18% surcharge on some of the services we provide our clients on the ground, including park fees, vehicle fees, camping fees, guide fees, etc.
As Travel Weekly put it:
According to SafariBookings.com, an online marketplace for African safari tours that includes over 1,750 operators, the new tax has “caused chaos in the safari industry, forcing tour operators to charge clients up to 18% extra for safaris that had already been paid.”
The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) has expressed serious concerns on the cross-cutting negative consequences of the tax measures on the tourism industry, which currently contributes more than 17% of the country’s GDP.
At issue is the short notice given by the Tanzanian government, which introduced the change as part of the 2016 finance bill on June 3, passed it on June 23 and implemented it July 1.
The real-world increases on your (the client’s) side will be minimal however, as we are aiming to pass as little of this increase on to you as possible. Some examples include:
Given these slight increases, please expect to budget a couple hundred dollars extra for your average safari package.
For safaris that have already been quoted, booked, or paid for: we will be contacting all of our upcoming guests on an individual basis to let them know what the surcharge to their previously quoted total will be. We will only be charging the 18% tax on the services mandated by the government, and will not be adding any surcharges on our end.
Cancellations: if your safari is more than sixty days out you will have the option to cancel your booking with us fee-free. If your safari is less than sixty days out we will contact you with alternate options to see what will work best.
Future quotes & bookings: we will automatically include the 18% tax in all of our package pricing from here on out.
Alas, such is the cost of doing business in Africa (or in any developing nation)–things sometimes happen over which you have little to no control, and you just need to roll with it.
Nevertheless, we still feel very privileged to be operating in one of the safest, most stable countries on the African continent, and undoubtedly one of the best places to experience a safari on earth.
Rest assured that we will stay committed to keeping all of our guests informed as to current affairs, and will remain 100% transparent in the process of doing so.