ZTA blitz nets 48 il­le­gal oper­a­tors:

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Lib­erty Dube and Rumbidzai Mashaya­hanya Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dents

THE re­cent blitz by the Zim­babwe Tourism Author­ity (ZTA) has af­fected at least 48 hos­pi­tal­ity oper­a­tors in Man­i­ca­land prov­ince who were run­ning un­reg­is­tered fa­cil­i­ties.

The author­ity strives to stan­dard­ise op­er­a­tions of the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor and en­sure that all oper­a­tors are com­pli­ant with the terms of the Tourism Act of 1996 Chap­ter 14:20 Sec­tion 57, which states that all des­ig­nated tourist fa­cil­i­ties should be reg­is­tered with the ZTA.

Speak­ing in an in­ter­view ZTA chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer, Mr Give­more Chidzidzi said the blitz will go a long way in restor­ing or­der and san­ity to op­er­a­tions in the in­dus­try while the coun­try gears for eco­nomic growth.

“When we started the op­er­a­tion, we called upon all oper­a­tors to reg­u­larise and we gave a dead­line of 31 March, 2018, which has since lapsed.

“And ac­cord­ing to our records we have 48 oper­a­tors who are op­er­at­ing out­side the con­fines of the law,” Mr Chidzidzi said.

Ac­cord­ing to the ZTA re­port, in Man­i­ca­land prov­ince, key af­fected ar­eas in­clude Nyanga, Mutare, Chi­man­i­mani, Vumba and Chipinge.

Chidzidzi said that in the mean­time, oper­a­tors have a re­prieve where of­fi­cers of ZTA were now en­gag­ing on a case by case visit to en­sure that no one was left out but fail­ure to com­ply af­ter this ex­er­cise would re­sult in the author­ity tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against of­fend­ers.

“It is not only about reg­is­tra­tion but com­ply­ing with the stan­dards, be­cause reg­is­tra­tion comes with min­i­mum stan­dards and if they are not be­ing met then reg­is­tra­tion is in­valid.

“If they do not meet the stan­dards whether in ac­com­mo­da­tion, restau­rant, tour op­er­a­tion or vis­i­tor at­trac­tion, we are not go­ing to hes­i­tate to let the Act be en­forced across the whole tourism sec­tor,” he said.

Re­quire­ments are that a reg­is­tra­tion fee of $300 is charged and paid to the ZTA with op­tions for long term pay­ment plans while a fur­ther two per­cent levy is also paid monthly to the author­ity.

Com­ment­ing on the de­vel­op­ments, Hos­pi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe Man­i­ca­land rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mr Leonard Bwanya said this was a wel­come de­vel­op­ment which would en­sure that those op­er­a­tions that had been prof­i­teer­ing at the ex­pense of le­gal op­er­a­tions would com­ply.

He how­ever urged the author­ity to re­view its reg­is­tra­tion re­quire­ments fees and levies’ con­sid­er­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the in­dus­try had been sub­dued.

“We ex­pect the author­ity to ad­just and ac­com­mo­date every­one. We are sure all play­ers would want to op­er­ate legally but the re­quire­ments have to be also in­dus­try re­spon­sive so that play­ers do not evade pay­ing,” Mr Bwanya said.

In past, tourism play­ers have com­plained that un­reg­is­tered play­ers un­der­cut into for­eign cur­rency gen­er­a­tion po­ten­tial and have been held ac­count­able for the 14,71% drop in for­eign cur­rency re­ceipts from over $177 mil­lion in 2016 to be­low $151 mil­lion in 2017.

In­ter­na­tional ar­rivals in the re­gion ac­count for 5% in ho­tel oc­cu­pancy, while do­mes­tic tourism is com­mand­ing 40-45% per year in Man­i­ca­land, re­sult­ing in sub­dued for­eign cur­rency re­ceipts.

Mr Chidzidzi

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