As part of its strategy, ASATA has launched its Members Advisory Forums. The purpose of these forums is to discuss, debate and deliver real outcomes on industry matters, from position statements through to policy decisions. Featuring subject matter experts and guided by clear terms of reference, each forum is managed as a project, with outcomes to be delivered within acceptable timeframes. These outcomes will assist in ensuring that we adopt best business practice, remain legally compliant and show purpose in addressing how our industry should function.
ASATA’s first Members Advisory Forum has met to deliberate the issue of travel agents’ participation in the voluntary collection of TOMSA levies. ASATA’s goal is to set the framework for members wishing to participate, and to assess the merits of our participation in the scheme.
The Tourism Marketing Levy South Africa (TMOSA) is a private-sector initiative aimed at raising funds for the marketing of South Africa as a destination. Levy collectors range from accommodation establishments through to tour operators and even car rental companies – in fact, any company whose core business is facilitating tourism and travel within South Africa.
The levy is collected by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and is given to South African Tourism to fund its extensive marketing commitments to promote South Africa as a tourist destination.
South African travel agents are not currently TOMSA levy collectors, and hence ASATA members are not required to contribute to the fund. However, as a sector of the tourism industry, it is in a gazetted sector code as measurement criteria for the scorecard in terms of the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Tourism Charter. The scope of application outlines all those entities that are bound by this scorecard, which includes travel distribution systems.
Other than earning a 3% score in terms of the BEE Tourism Charter, our discussions are focusing on what relevant additional benefits can be afforded our members who choose to participate. We need to define our collection formula and ensure that no double dipping occurs in the process, and that the contributions collected only come from local travel bookings.
Otto de Vries