Rwodzi urges ZTA to go after unlicenced tourism players
Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy Minister Barbara Rwodzi has urged the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) to go after unlicenced tourism operators.
She said every tourism business in the country must contribute to the national economic accounts.
There are various people who have converted their houses into guest houses and offering bed and breakfast services without registering with the ZTA as is required.
This development is thought to be depriving the country of revenue in the form of a tourism levy.
Speaking at the launch of the Zimbabwe Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), the deputy minister said ZTA must clamp down on these unregistered players.
‘’Another key input from the TSA report, is the glaring fact that most people are not using formal accommodation when they visit the country and I urge the ZTA to intensify efforts to clamp down on all unlicenced tourism players countrywide so that we close these leakages.
‘’Every tourism business must contribute to our national economic accounts hence the chase and the clampdown,” she said.
However, this is not the first time that ZTA has been urged to clamp down on unregistered players, as many years ago the authority instituted a blitz that closed several players.
But with time it appears the players keep coming back and are getting business due to overpricing by formal players.
Zimbabwe has some of the most expensive tourist accommodations in the region and this was exposed by various tourists, both local and foreign.
The high-cost accommodation has resulted in travellers spending fewer nights in the country, preferring to stay in South Africa or Zambia and then fly into Zimbabwe to enjoy the tourist attractions.
According to the government, the country is aiming to make tourism a US$5 billion economy by 2025. As of 2018, the tourism economy was estimated to be at around US$1 964 592 880. A drop in the number of arrivals due to COVID-19 could be another factor that can weigh down on the efforts.