Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Government authorised to introduce Tourism fee

Resultado de imagem para TURISMO MOZAMBIQUEThe Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Wednesday authorized the government to issue a decree-law establishing a tourism fee to be added to the accommodation bill of every tourist visiting the country’s hotels, lodges and similar establishments.The bill giving the government this power is very short, and reads like a blank cheque, since it does not establish any limits on the new tourism fee.It is called a fee rather than a tax, because only the Assembly itself can legislate on new taxes. Opposition deputies protested, arguing that the government’s power to pass decree-laws was being abused.Abiba Aba, of the rebel movement Renamo, said that handing power to legislate over to the government was only acceptable in matters of great technical complexity, or where the Assembly itself simply did not have the time – which was not the case with the tourism fee.“There’s no need to allow the government to legislate on this”, said her colleague, Felizarda de Castro. “The Assembly has legislated on more complex fiscal matters in the past”.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Silva Dunduru, said the money raised by the tourism fee would be used to promote and market Mozambican tourist attractions abroad, and would thus bring more tourists to the country.
Resultado de imagem para TURISMO MOZAMBIQUE
The opposition warned that, by making tourism more expensive, it might have the opposite effect, and reduce the number of tourists.“This will increase the costs of tourism, particularly for Mozambicans”, said Armando Artur of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM). He argued that better ways of attracting tourists would be to improve security, end corruption and reduce red tape.
Renamo deputies repeatedly argued that the key to boosting tourism was to restore peace in Mozambique – thus conveniently forgetting that the people waging war against the government are the members of Renamo’s own illegal militia, and that the one person who can order an immediate end to the clashes is Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama.
Resultado de imagem para TURISMO MOZAMBIQUEDunduru said there was nothing extraordinary about a tourism fee, and that, in the entire SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, Mozambique is the only country that does not have one.He pointed out that South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland and Botswana all add a tourism fee of one per cent to hotel bills. (His repeated mention of “one per cent” suggests this is the figure the government has in mind for the Mozambican fee). He stressed that the fee would only be added to accommodation, and not to other expenses such as restaurant meals.“We will not be able to compete if we do not show the world what we have”, said Dunduru, “In the SADC tourism list, we are in 13th position, behind even Malawi and Lesotho. 
Tourism is not an activity of the government, but the government creates the conditions for the private sector to operate”.He said the country already attracts over two million tourists a year, and believed there was nothing impossible in the target of four million tourists a year by 2025, as advocated in the government’s national tourism strategy. But to achieve such a target, promotion and marketing were needed.The overall majority of the ruling Frelimo Party ensured that the government bill passed. The 133 Frelimo deputes present voted in favour, the 16 from the MDM voted against, while 74 Renamo deputies abstained.

0 comentários:

Post a Comment