HAZ lobbies for longer licensing period
THE Hospitality Association (HAZ) of Zimbabwe is lobbying the Government to increase tourism and hospitality players’ licensing periods to enable them to improve on service delivery and competitiveness.
HAZ president Mr Innocent Manyera said there was a need for Government to review its licensing regime as the current one, which compels operators to renew yearly was overly bureaucratic and complex.
“We are calling for a longer licensing term of three or more years subject to a yearly review as we feel this will reduce the time spent on the renewal process. Currently operators are subjected to yearly licence renewals by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority as well as local authorities,” he said.
Mr Manyera said multiplicity of licences by different Government departments was hindering new entrants and already established players in the tourism industry while also stifling the growth of the tourism sector.
“There are multiple licences that one will require to operate and all these are done in different offices located in different places. You talk of tourism operator licence, grading certificate, liquor licence, bakery licence, local authority licence; these exclude other things like taxes, manpower development levies and utilities,” he said.
Mr Manyera said there was a need for the Government to come up with a One-Stop-Shop concept for all tourism and hospitality licensing requirements.
The Government, through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) is working on relaxing conditions necessary for licensing tourism operators so as to improve entrance into the tourism industry and competitiveness of the country’s tourism products. The economic blueprint states that the growth of the country’s tourism hinges on the provision of incentive packages and relaxation of all restrictive requirements, among other measures.
“The TSP will also review tourism operators’ licensing requirements with a view to improve entry into the industry and competitiveness of tourism products. This will include the streamlining of the registration, licensing and permit requirements, as well as numerous charges and fees,” reads part of the document.
The economic blueprint also seeks to enhance the marketing of the country as a tourist destination of choice.
“The Transitional Stabilisation Programme also targets support for aggressive marketing and rebranding of Zimbabwe, to facilitate tourism arrivals, taking advantage of the country’s diverse tourist attractions, ranging from natural to manmade historical sites. This will hinge on the provision of innovative incentive packages and relaxation of all restrictive requirements, among other measures,” reads the document.
Mr Innocent Manyera