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Seychelles' Tourism environmental evy not to be included in advertised room rates Seychelles' Tourism environmental evy not to be included in advertised room rates

The Seychelles tourism environmental sustainability levy will into force on August 1 as per the structure announced by the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade in July, the Ministry said on Thursday.

The regulations governing the levy will be gazetted on Friday, July 28, and the ministry said that it will be charged on a three-tiered basis. "Small tourism accommodations of 1-24 rooms will be required to charge visitors SCR25 ($2) per person per night, medium tourism accommodations of 25-50 rooms - SCR75 ($6) per person per night, and large tourism accommodations of 51 rooms and above, yachts and island resorts - SCR 100($8) per person per night," it added.

Island resorts relate to establishments based on any island other than Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, the three most populated islands and Cerf Island as defined in the Tourism Development Act 2019.

Establishments will charge and collect this levy from the visitors. "The Levy is not to be incorporated in the establishments' prices. Instead, they are required to include it on the visitor's invoice as the Tourism Environmental Sustainability Levy. The establishments will then be required to remit these funds to Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) on a monthly basis," said the Ministry.

According to the press release, the levy amount shall not be considered as part of the turnover of a business for the purpose of determining business tax, value-added tax (VAT), accommodation turnover tax, or tourism marketing tax (TMT).

The levy is not applicable to Seychellois citizens and residents of Seychelles, children of 12 years and below, and crew members of airlines and yachts. The announcement comes four days after Seychelles' finance authorities said it will undertake further discussions with the Cabinet of Ministers on the environment levy amid concerns of tourism establishments on the proposed collection method.

In the meeting on Monday at the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) conference room, representatives from the tourism industry spoke about their reservations about how the levy would be collected. Other concerns raised were the fact that the establishment owners would have to pay the additional three percent incurred from banks following credit card payments from their clients.

Proceeds from the levy would add to the country's efforts to enhance, rehabilitate and protect its natural environment. The levy was first announced during the 2023 budget speech, delivered by the Minister for Finance, National Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan, in the National Assembly on November 4 last year.

Following the budget address, three separate consultative meetings were held with tourism stakeholders, one on Mahe on January 30, Praslin on February 3 and La Digue on February 4.

These were followed by further meetings with the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA).

Source: allAfrica.com