Hotel and Catering Association of Zambia (HCAZ) has called on the government to defer the implementation of the tourism levy until the new tourism policy is adopted and the subsequent law is enacted.
HCAZ president Brian Mulenga further says the VAT for the tourism and hospitality industry should be reduced to 14percent and 2percent should go towards the tourism levy if at all there is an urgent need to implement the levy.
Mr. Mulenga says there is need for a clear defined and transparent system of administering the funds by establishing an autonomous body to handle the funds.
He has reiterated that says the new act should form the Zambia Tourism Authority whose function amongst them should be the administration of the tourism levy
Mr. Mulenga says the Association takes recognition that the tourism levy is contained in the Tourism and Hospitality Act number 23 of 2007 whose purpose is to develop a fund that will help promote training of personnel in the sector and supplement government effort in the promotion of tourism products.
He has stressed that While the levy is well intended the association notes that the industry is already overwhelmed with taxes as it can be seen from taxes such as the guest bills which are charged over and above 16percent with Value Added Tax and Service Charge at 10percent.
Further the association has noted from international travelers’ point of view that Zambia is comparatively a costly destination in the region and any increase on the guest bill will only aggravate the situation and it has an effect on the tourism and hospitality business.
Mr. Mulenga notes that the charges bring the surcharge to 26percent, therefore any addition charge will overburden the consumer.