Footsteps Through Time

Footsteps Through Time
A History of Travel and Tourism to the Victoria Falls - www.zambezibookcompany.com

Monday, 2 June 2014

Vice Falls Tourism levy lambasted


THE move by Victoria Falls municipality to levy tourists visiting the resort town could be disastrous to business and any move to impose the resident’s debt on business would be resisted, tour operators have said.
RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Some tour operators felt that tourists were already paying too many levies on their visit to Victoria Falls and council should extensively consult with business and come up with a tolling fee on tour operators depending on business performance.
The town fathers are mulling the introduction of “tourist tolling” — a development that will result in council collecting money from each tourist visiting the resort town as a way of raising revenue.
Employers Association of Tourism and Safari Operators national president and Shearwater Adventures public relations manager Clement Mukwasi warned the municipality to widely consult with the business to avoid resistance.
“They should come up with a possible levy to businesses not individual tourists, taking into cognisance the viability of businesses,” Mukwasi said.
“If business is low they should suspend the levy and resume when business is high. They should also co-ordinate with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, ZimParks, Environment Management Authority and the Ministry of Transport as we also pay levies to these entities.”
“If the council decides to impose the debt owed by residents on business, the move will have disastrous effects as it will face a lot of resistance. There will be no buy-in.”
The cash-strapped municipality is in dire straits as it owes the government, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Zimbabwe National Water Authority and other utilities in excess of $10 million.
In his 2014 National budget, Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa proposed that a 15% value added tax (VAT) be imposed on payments for accommodation and services by foreign tourist.
The VAT players in the industry have argued that it would scare away foreign tourists since it was the first of its kind in the world.
Source: Tourism levy lambasted (01/06/14)

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