The country’s tourism industry has recommended that the Tourism Sector Revolving Fund be increased to at least USD300 million as part of efforts to unlock the potential of the sector.
The industry is optimistic of the 2020 National Budget interventions which will unlock the potential of the sector which is one of the major sources of foreign currency.
As part of the recommendations, for th 2020 national budget, the sector is calling for the more funds towards the Tourism Revolving Fund, a review of the 15 percent VAT on accommodation and increased funding to institutions such as Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and Zimparks.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment Tourism and Hospitality said the committee recommends budgetary interventions which promote increased tourists traffic and strengthens environment protection.
“The Committee hopes that funding attitudes on environment and tourism sectors will improve for the better. Let us bear in mind that the environment supports the other sectors of the economy,” the Committee’s Chairperson, Consilia Chinanzvavana said.
Responding to the proposals by the tourism sector, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, highlighted that for the purposes of monitoring it is critical that the rebate of duty facility for tourism operators be reviewed after every two years.
“For purposes of monitoring and evaluation, it is important that the facilities be reviewed every two years, subject to submission of Transparency and Accountability Reports by Tourism Players,” Prof Ncube said.
Meanwhile ZANU PF Lawmaker, Joseph Chinotimba, has urged government to exempt Victoria Falls from the power cuts to ensure that the destination remains attractive to international tourists.
“It is our view that for the purpose of maintaining the attractiveness of Victoria Falls as a destination, the resort town must be exempted from the power cuts which tourists have been forced to endure,” he proposed.
Proposals were also made for government thought the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), to ensure cash availability in Bureaus, especially in tourism hubs and increasing the availability of International POS machines.