VAT on accommodation for non-residents to be scrapped | The Herald

via VAT on accommodation for non-residents to be scrapped | The Herald February 25, 2014 by Paidamoyo Nyakudzambara

Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality is engaged in a dialogue with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development over the scrapping of a 15 percent Value Added Tax on accommodation services for non-resident tourists, an official confirmed. In the 2014 national budget, it was proposed that VAT be imposed on payments for accommodation and tourism services by foreign visitors.

The move invoked outcries among hotel industry players who opposed the move urging a rethink in the best interests not only of the travel and tourism sector, but of the whole economy.

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi said he received a petition from the hospitality industry pleading for the scraping of VAT.

“I am in dialogue with Minister of Finance and Economic Development over the issue which either myself nor the sector were consulted on, and I am yet to establish the source of this ‘wisdom’ which has no successful precedence anywhere or elsewhere in the world,” Minister Mzembi said in a statement.

He said Minister Patrick Chinamasa accepted to have a meeting to make sure issues surrounding VAT are discussed.
“Minister Chinamasa has agreed to a policy dialogue over the matter which I am confident will allow superior arguments to prevail for the survival and growth of the sector,” he said.

According to industry players the imposition of VAT is going to increase prices by 15percent and this was going to make them uncompetitive and result in reduced numbers of tourists visiting the country.

Cresta hotels chief executive Mr Glen Stutchbury last month said the introduction of VAT is going to be a setback for an industry slowly climbing out of a decade long recession.

He said VAT would negatively affect travel and tourism sector’s drive to increase arrivals and foreign currency earnings.
“Hoteliers were embarking on an exercise to engage authorities in discussions on the issue. We need the plan shelved for a minimum of five years.

“Until now it has been national policy not to charge VAT on foreigners’ payments on accommodation and tourism-related services,” he said

When the VAT system was introduced in 2003, the travel and tourism sector was recognised as an exporter, exempt from VAT on foreign visitors’ payments.

Mr Stutchbury said the sector now felt strongly that after a slow but determined emergence from a 13-year period of depressed trading, the time was not right to undertake action that would have a detrimental effect on growth.

Such an impact would result in a drop in tourist arrivals with reduced growth for the travel and tourism sector and either stagnation or reduction in employment levels.



  • comment-avatar
    gizara 9 years ago

    POLICY INCONSISTENCY, and you expect a rational investor to bring in money when you cant be decided about simple issues such as VAT.

  • comment-avatar

    VAT for non resident tourists-Well I have just crossed Zimbabwe off my list of travel destination. Hello South Africa, i will be visiting you again this year. i enjoyed my stay last year, i even got to attend Mandela’s funeral and I did not hvae to payVAT for my accomodation. I shall be directing my family and friends to you. Family and finds avoid visiting ZIMBABWE, they charge VAT. The greedy. The government are such greedy so and so’s UGGGH

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    vukani madoda 9 years ago

    What a load of rubbish;the hospitality industry on the whole does not give value for money in Zimbabwe-is it the case too there that all this clamour is about protecting hideous salaries and benefits for those at the top.I hope as part of those negotiations their accounts will be scrutinised.The one thing for sure is that the staffing levels are visibly excessive compared to other countries where efficiency is at the top of the agenda.I will not forget the instance recently where I was sat for an eveing meal and there were more staff than customers in the restuarant for my entire stay that evening.This is plain inefficient.Since everyone is paying in forex,the arguments that led to the exemption of foreingers paying VAT on the basis that the industry is an exporter sounds very flimsy