taxThe dreaded 15% Value Added Tax on payments for accommodation and tourism services by foreign visitors to Zimbabwe will become a reality from January 2015. This was announced during the African Sun breakfast in the presence of Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi at Indaba this year.

Dr Shingi Munyeza, African Sun CEO, said it was good news that a position was reached on the implementation date, as now the tourism industry could plan for it accordingly. He added that members of the trade recognised that it was unsustainable for the country to not implement VAT.

However, Munyeza said he would continue to appeal to Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, to further extend the VAT deadline to give the tourism industry more time to recover from the financial crisis.

Emmanuel Fundira, Group Chief Executive at Astoc Leisure Group, agreed that talks with the government were ongoing about the best timeframe for the implementation of the tax. He said an option of a more gradual implementation of the tax was being discussed.

Earlier this year, Francis Ngwenya, Zimbabwe Council for Tourism President, said a 15% increase on prices would be extremely disruptive and detrimental to the industry, and would almost certainly stop growth in its tracks. Ngwenya explained in a letter to the Minister of Tourism that the Zimbabwe industry was still very fragile and needed a minimum of five years to recover.

From : Tourism Update

16 May 2014