By Luckmore Safuli
VICTORIA Falls’ tourism industry is pushing for a 50 percent discount on all fees charged by government and quasi-government institutions as part of efforts to make holiday packages for domestic and regional tourists more affordable.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) facilitated one-day stakeholders meeting in the country’s tourism capital where tourism players throwing their weight behind the domestic tourism promotion campaign dubbed ZimBho.
Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) Regional Representative Barbara Murasiranwa said as part of proposals the industry is imploring the government to give grants to critical state-owned institutions to allow them to extend same discounts to tourism operators.
“We are still struggling with the government and quasi-government departments who have not reduced their fees. We understand everyone has been affected by the pandemic but we are imploring the government to come up with grants to give to Zimparks, EMA, Forestry Commission, Air Zimbabwe and other line ministries where they can they extend to us through discounts,” they said.
The participants, however, called for a reduction in permits and license fees.
Participants said they welcome the ZimBho campaign and stand ready to play their part in promoting domestic travel by introducing affordable holiday packages.
ZTA Regional Manager, Tsikadzashe Mberi commended the tourism players for their commitment to ensuring that the drive to promote domestic and regional tourism achieves the desired results.
“The purpose of today’s meeting was to introduce and present the ZimBho campaign to the industry in Victoria Falls. The campaign is a collaboration between ZTA and industry so we wanted to bring the tourism players to speed as to where we are coming from and what the campaign aims to achieve,” he said.
According to the tourism players, access to the 500 million Zimbabwe dollar stimulus fund remains a challenge and also called for zero-rating for Value Added Tax (VAT) on accommodation and tourism activities.