Government urged to reconsider VAT on tourists

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has urged the government to reconsider its position of charging Value Added Tax (VAT) to non-resident tourists as this risks pricing Zimbabwe out of business as it was not done anywhere else in the world.

In its report in response to the 2014 budget, the committee said the tax, which came into effect this month, was an add-on to pricing of tourism products and therefore adversely affected the country’s competition in the region.

“This will become more expensive for tourists visiting Zimbabwe and our country will be the first one in the world to charge that tax. In addition, this will already be destroying the gains achieved by the UNWTO 20th General Assembly,” the committee said.

The Ministry of Tourism was allocated only US$6.2 million when it had bid for US$73.2 million.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority which is charge of marketing the country worldwide was allocated US$1.7 million when it had requested US$30.1 million. It said it would have to cut international travel shows from 33 to 8.

Zimbabwe’s state enterprises have been under fire for spending too much money on executives one of whom was earning US$230 000 a monthly, which is enough to pay 51 junior civil servants for a whole year.



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