ZTA to regulate ease of doing business

Source: ZTA to regulate ease of doing business – Sunday News November 13, 2016

Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says it is working on reviewing regulations that curtail developments and the ease of doing business in the tourism industry.

ZTA chief executive officer Mr Karikoga Kaseke said in the tourism promotion body there are a number of regulatory bottlenecks affecting the ease of doing business in the tourism industry, which need to be addressed so as to ensure that it contributes immensely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

“We had a meeting on Thursday to discuss some issues to do with ease of doing business. So we will be working on amending some of the laws that are in the way of the ease of doing business. We don’t want to disturb the industry, it has to grow and flourish like in other countries.

“The fees that (tourism and hospitality) companies pay are too much and there are multiple authorities that demand cash from them including license fees. The fees that are required for the registration of companies are also too high and discourage business in the sector,” said Mr Kaseke.

Mr Kaseke also said ZTA was in the process of scrutinising Statutory Instrument (SI) 128 of 2005.

SI 128 of 2005 stipulates that all designated tourist facilities have to be graded and offer their services to their clientele in properly maintained establishments, ensuring proper conditions of accommodation, morality and professional competence.

“On SI 128 to 2005 we know that it is for the grading of hotels and we cannot stop grading hotels but we have to decide who has to pay for the inspectors that would be grading the places,” said Mr Kaseke.

He further stated that the “exorbitant” fees being charged by organisations such as the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) on tourism operators needed to be justified.

Zimura is charging television or radio licences per room or set regardless of occupancy and that is passed on the consumers of tourism products.

Zimura is an association of composers and publishers of music that was created with the purpose of protecting the rights of musicians under the copyright law.

The association protects the performing rights of authors and collects royalties on their behalf.

The tourism sector provides the quickest turnaround solutions ahead of other sectors of the economy. But the sector has had to navigate through a host of challenges in order to stay afloat. The sector is still smarting from the 15 percent value added tax on accommodation for foreigners which has made Zimbabwe an uncompetitive destination.

The many roadblocks on the country’s highways have also affected the growth of the industry with operators reporting that tourists were cutting down on the number of nights having lost money on traffic fines.

Despite these challenges, the Government projects the sector would grow.

Under the 5:5:15:2020 model, Zimbabwe aims to have five million arrivals, generate $5 billion from tourism and for tourism to contribute 15 percent to the Gross Domestic Product by 2020.