HARARE – Art galleries and other tourist facilities have been given until March 31 to regularise their operations with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) or face the music.
ZTA, which said its directive was in line with the terms of The Tourism Act of 1996 Chapter 14:20 section 57, further warned that they will unleash law enforcement agents on tourism players and facilities operating outside the law.
“In terms of The Tourism Act of 1996 Chapter 14:20 section 57, all designated tourist facilities should be registered with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
“Failure to comply with regulatory requirements could lead to prosecution. From April 1, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in conjunction with law enforcement agents will be deployed to bring all unregistered facilities to book,” read part of the advertisement which appeared in several newspapers on Wednesday.
In addition to art galleries, designated tourism players and facilities which have been ordered to register with ZTA include conference organisers, tour operators, hunting operators, tour guides, travel agents and curio shops.
Non-hotel conferences facilities and a broad range of accommodation suppliers which include hotels, lodges, guest houses, camps, camp sites, bed and breakfast accommodation, hostels, air bed and breakfast accommodation are also required to register.
Additionally, ZTA, headed by chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke, added that the law also requires places that attract visitors such as game parks, farms, art galleries and visitor activities which include golf, horse riding, bungee jumping and wedding venues to comply with the Tourism Act of 1996.
When the Daily News sought his comment on the matter, ZTA chief operating officer Givemore Chidzidzi revealed that his organisation was yet to ascertain the number of illegal tourism operators in the country.
“It is difficult to quantify them but many illegal operators exist in the sector. Failure to comply with regulatory requirements could lead to prosecution or closure of the joints,” said Chidzidzi.