TOURISM players in Victoria Falls have hailed the elimination of VAT on domestic tourism services as a positive move toward leveraging the local market in the sector’s recovery and development.
As demonstrated by the recent gazetting of a Statutory Instrument scrapping VAT on tourism facilities for locals, the government continues to demonstrate its commitment to unlocking the potential of domestic tourism in order to achieve a 5 billion US dollar industry by 2025.
Mr Ephias Mambume, Machaba Safaris’ Human Resources Director, is optimistic that the intervention would boost domestic travel.
As tourism players, we are obviously elated by the development and we would like to commend the government for promulgating the Statutory Instrument S.I 81 of 2021 which we believe is going to act as an inducer to the promotion of domestic tourism. Our hope is that it will also have an impact on the pricing regime, he said
Among the services and products exempted from VAT include food and beverages, shuttle services, safari operations, sport fishing and recreational activities provided by companies registered with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
Tourism operators who have traditionally relied on the international market have also started coming up with packages and incentives to lure local tourists.
We continue to see commendable efforts by central government in unlocking the potential of tourism. We saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa demonstrating leadership by coming to this resort city to get vaccinated as a way to give confidence to our various source markets.
One of the major lessons from the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has been the need to harness domestic tourism.