Tour operators seethe as Vic Falls ups levies

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VICTORIA Falls Council has proposed an 8 percent levy increase on commercial water in its 2014 budget, immediately drawing the ire of tour operators who say the move would make Zimbabwe’s premier resort town too expensive.
Town treasurer Thembelani Khumalo said businesses should be charged more for water use to help fund the council’s development plans.
“We are proposing that commercial users pay $1.10 per 100 cubits for 2014 from $1.02 this year,” Khumalo said.
Jonathan Hudson, the general manager of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge said the council should be reducing water charges instead.
“If the water costs are high, that will reflect badly on our business because we will be forced to increase the cost of the clients stay in Victoria Falls because we can’t really limit a client to say a bucket of water a day. It is not possible,” he said.
Council also increased annual rates for services.
Airlines will pay $1,485 from $1,415 while rates for banks were raised to $1,451 from $1,381.
Charges for five-star hotels went up to $2,990 from $2,847 and the safari lodges will pay $825, up from $786.
Rates for the craft village are now $213 from $203 while car hire companies will pay $412, up from $392Advertisement