$2-$5 FEE FOR IM­PROVED SE­CU­RITY IN THE AIR

The East African - - NEWS -

Tan­za­nia an­nounced a se­cu­rity levy on air pas­sen­gers, which busi­nesses warn is likely to af­fect tourist num­bers. The new levy, which takes ef­fect on Oc­to­ber 1, is meant to help im­prove air­port se­cu­rity in­stal­la­tions and safety ser­vices.

By APOLI­NARI TAIRO

TAN­ZA­NIA an­nounced a se­cu­rity levy on air pas­sen­gers, which busi­nesses warn is likely to af­fect tourist num­bers.

The new levy, which takes ef­fect on Oc­to­ber 1, is meant to help im­prove air­port se­cu­rity in­stal­la­tions and safety ser­vices in­clud­ing perime­ter fences and scan­ning ma­chines.

Tan­za­nia Air­ports Au­thor­ity di­rec­tor-gen­eral Richard May­on­gela said for­eign trav­ellers board­ing air­craft at ma­jor air­ports in the coun­try will pay $5 while those on do­mes­tic flights will pay $2.

“The se­cu­rity levy is tar­geted at en­hanc­ing the devel­op­ment of air­port in­fra­struc­ture, and sta­bil­is­ing and strength­en­ing the safety of our air­ports,” said Mr May­on­gela.

How­ever, air­line ex­ec­u­tives say the new levy will make air trans­port in the coun­try ex­pen­sive, adding that sev­eral taxes and fees are al­ready be­ing charged. They fear it may scare away po­ten­tial cus­tomers.

The cur­rent de­par­ture tax for do­mes­tic flights is Tsh13,000 ($5.7) while in­ter­na­tional de­par­ture tax is Tsh112,101 ($49) per pas­sen­ger.

Alexan­der Van de Wint, a KLM of­fi­cial in Dar es Salaam, said air­lines had sold tick­ets for up to the end of the year and asked the govern­ment to post­pone the levy un­til Jan­uary 2019.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Tan­za­nia As­so­ci­a­tion of Tour Op­er­a­tors Sir­ili Akko told that the levy “works against the govern­ment’s goal of in­creas­ing the num­ber of tourists.”

M Akko said a re­duc­tion, if not abo­li­tion of all the fees, levies and taxes on aux­il­iary ser­vices in the tourism sec­tor would have max­imised re­turns from the coun­try’s tourism and wildlife sec­tor.

Tourism is Tan­za­nia’s lead­ing for­eign ex­change earner and a key eco­nomic sec­tor. The econ­omy earned Tsh4 tril­lion ($2 bil­lion) from the sec­tor last year, ac­cord­ing to the Tan­za­nia Tourist Board. This sur­passed earn­ings from gold, which brought in Tsh3 bil­lion ($1.28 bil­lion) in the same pe­riod.

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