Tourism players meet over stimulus package

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KEY stakeholders in the Zimbabwean tourism sector yesterday convened in Harare to deliberate on the progress in terms of disbursement of the $500 million economic stimulus package provided to them by government in May this year.
The stimulus package included a set of economic measures put together to stimulate a floundering economy with the objective of reinvigorating the tourism sector.

It also aims at preventing a recession by boosting employment and spending amid the coronavirus (Covid-19)
pandemic which has seriously strained the thriving sector.

Speaking at the event, Tourism permanent secretary, Munesu Munodawafa said the purpose of the meeting was
to review progress on the key commitments made by government towards the tourism recovery and growth strategy.

“We discussed the fundamental indicators on the tourism support strategies which are the tourism revolving fund, tourism guarantee facility, the waiver of Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic tourism, the waiver of retention of foreign currency, payments of debts owed to industry and the support of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority,”
Munodawafa said. Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) president Winnie Muchanyuka said:

“The issue of the government guarantee will need a follow up meeting with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe
(Baz) so as to make the industry understand better the processes and how we can work around them alongside Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ),” Muchanyuka said.

She noted that the issue involving the wavering of VAT was at an advanced stage as they can now confirm the list of
service providers and services that needed to be captured under this statutory instrument and that the list will be published in a fortnight.

“However, in the discussions, the issue of zero rating came up and that also needs to be discussed between industry
and Treasury to see if it can be accommodated as part of the deliberations before the matters of the national budget are captured.”

The tourism revolving fund is still under discussion and industry has appealed to the Treasury and the RBZ so that
they involve industry in the creation of this fund with the idea that industry will be able to access it.

“On the issue of the waiver of retention of foreign currency, while an exemption had been given to industry until December, a new dispensation had been put in place to address the liquidation of retained funds,” Muchanyuka said.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will also receive support as they are key in promoting the face of Zimbabwe’s
tourism which is also one of the country’s key economic sectors.

“We are funded largely from the 2 percent levy chargedon tourists travelling into the country.

“As ZTA, we will be afforded substantial support to ensure our organisation is capacitated to fully discharge its mandate and initiatives to promote the face of Zimbabwe’s tourism not only locally but globally,” acting ZTA chief executive Givemore Chidzidzi said during the same event.

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