Africa

Zimbabwe: Tourism Sector Seeks Support in Mid-Term Budget

TOURISM industry leaders expect the 2021 mid-term fiscal policy review, which will be presented in Parliament today, to buttress the sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 impact.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, will present the mid-term policy review where he is expected to evaluate the performance of the budget so far this year and provide economic policy guideline for the remainder of the year.

The Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy (NTRGS), which was launched by President Mnangagwa last year, is one of the key sectoral blueprints aimed at increasing tourism contribution to the wider economy.

Although a total of $500 million guarantee and revolving fund was set aside to assist the sector to stay afloat and save jobs in the wake of Covid-19, tourism industry players have complained over hindrances in accessing the fund, which is part of the $18 billion stimulus package unveiled by Treasury in response to the pandemic.

“The biggest request from tourism is for Government funding that was promised and has not been given as more and more businesses are now technically insolvent and could shut down anytime,” said Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Matabeleland North chair, Mr Anald Musonza.

“This negates all the work done to bring back Zimbabwe into the prime tourism destination of choice. In Victoria Falls, we had a new KAZA hub in the making and any loss to key players will affect our tourism offering.”

He said the industry expects zero rate or five percent reduced VAT for tourism and hospitality industry products and services, suspended or subsidised or flat licence fees for all necessary licences to operate, removal or reduction of visa fees and tax investment incentives for every new investment.