Register now, Dar orders local Airbnb operators
A JOINT REPORT
TANZANIA HAS ORDERED short-stay accommodation operators to register their facilities with the government in the next 50 days or face arrest.
The move, which was praised by tour and hotel operators, will affect those signed up with US short-term online rental service Airbnb Inc.
Tourism is one of the biggest sources of hard currency for Tanzania, which was the fifth-biggest African market for Airbnb in terms of guest arrivals in the year to September 2017, according to a report on the firm’s website.
“There are many individuals who are operating these facilities. We want them to be recognised officially by the government and pay d licence fees,” said Rosada Musoma, assistant director of licensing and control in the Ministry of Tourism.
She said that when the 50-day period expires at the end of October, government agents will go from “house to house” and arrest any operators who have failed to register.
The chairman of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators, Wilbard Chamullo, told that his association has been encouraging owners of all accommodation facilities in Tanzania to register their business with the relevant institutions and associations.
Siriri Akko, executive secretary of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators, told Reuters that the government’s decision would create fairness in business and protect tourists from problems. “Even if the operators receive a low number of tourists, they should pay taxes and get licensed like the others, because their business is growing fast as tourists now want to experience life outside hotels,” he said.
Local representatives for Airbnb were not available for comment.
About 24,000 visitors are reported to have used short-stay accommodation in northern Tanzania and the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam last year. Families charge $10 to $30 per night, while tourist hotels and lodges charge $50 to $ 120 per night. Tanzania has about 2,300 homes operating accommodation services. Some are run by charity organisations and churches and others by individuals.