BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
GOVERNMENT will intensify its clampdown on unregistered tourism operators in its bid to bring transparency to the data collected into its recently-launched satellite account.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) was launched in Harare last week by the Tourism deputy minister Barbra Rwodzi.
TSA is a popular method of measuring the direct contributions of tourism to the national economy. Its unique role in quantifying economic contributions of visitors in a country derives from its nature as an account rather than a model and its observance of the principles of national economic
She said clamping down on unregistered operators would enable the government to get accurate figures of what the tourism sector is
“But now with this satellite account we will be able to know exactly how many tourists come into our country through the operators themselves which is why we want to clampdown on all tourism operators who are not registered because we can only know when the data is collected from the operators into the satellite account and ultimately to the economy and we want to know how much the tourism sector is contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP) using this tool, it gives us accurate numbers,” Rwodzi
“Now if we clampdown on every operator, this will enable us to know what the tourism sector is contributing. Let me give an example, before COVID-19 tourism had been claimed to be contributing about 10 to 11% of the GDP but who really knows whether it’s true or not without this tool? Now with this tool we shall know, it could be more. I actually believe it is more, it could be less of course, but I actually believe it should give us more numbers. COVID-19 came and yes the numbers went down but how much exactly did it go down? The records are saying it went up to 4,5 or 5% but with this tool we will be able to know what the tourism sector is contributing and what exactly is happening. So it is imperative to ensure that everybody, who is operating in the tourism sector, is
Rwodzi said Zimbabwe, unlike its neighbouring countries, was the only country without this measuring tool.
“And all along it has been manual and you know how it is, people can make errors and you cannot really rely on that and we have been lagging behind as our neighbouring countries like South Africa, Botswana and Namibia have always had this tool so we are very happy today we have launched this tourism satellite account in our country,” she said
“It has been very difficult for ZTA which is our tourism authority to go door-to-door getting those who are not registered to be registered and then compiling, putting it to Zimra or to our finance department to bring out the numbers to say how much we are getting from the
The TSA initiative is being supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, the African Development Bank, JICA and ZimStats.