Zimbabwe: Tourism Sector Feels Heat of Strong Dollar

The Zimbabwe Council for Tourism will approach Government to propose incentives and initiatives meant to mitigate the negative impact of the dollar-rand exchange rate disparity on the tourism sector.

ZCT president Mr Francis Ngwenya said yesterday that continued weakening of the South African rand has made Zimbabwe a more expensive destination, resulting in a loss of visitors from that market.

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This adds another significant cost to an industry battling to contain or limit the effect of the 15 percent value added tax on accommodation sales to visitors, absorbed fully or partially by operators to avoid passing on the cost, as this would drive away the tourists.

He said Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi has given ZCT audience over the issue and another round table discussion had been set with him to present their multi-pronged strategy, which in the main seeks to address the negative impact of the rand.

The Tourism minister is on record saying appreciation of the greenback against the rand, while not the sole reason for loss of visitors from SA, has made Zimbabwe uncompetitive as a destination.

“For us South Africa used to be and continues to be a big market. We need to find ways of getting that market to come back into Zimbabwe; whether it is by pricing in rand or whether by coming up with packages suitable for that region specifically,” Mr Ngwenya said.

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Source: allafrica

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