Reg­is­ter now, Dar or­ders local Airbnb op­er­a­tors

The East African - - NEWS -

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.

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