By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE government has put in place legal measures to enable players in the tourism industry to import capital goods duty free.
Speaking at a Bulawayo Tourism Indaba Monday, Tourism Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu expressed concern over high costs incurred in acquiring equipment and capital goods for the industry.
“Ladies and gentleman, I must also reiterate that government is conscious of the high cost of re-tooling and acquisition of equipment and capital goods faced by the industry.
“As a mitigation measure, the government has put in place Statutory Instruments that enable registered tourism players to import goods duty free,” said the minister.
Ndlovu said the facility will only be extended to registered tourism players.
“This rebate system is open to all registered tourism players and I urge all players to make use of this facility to modernise and refurbish their facilities,” Ndlovu said.
The minister also revealed that his ministry was promoting township-based tourism which he said will link tourists and communities.
“Township tours have been created where tourists are taken to Makokoba and Renkin long distance Bus Terminus where they interact with locals as well as herbalists who sell different wares. I urge tour operators involved in such tours to have a more vigorous marketing thrust to bring awareness to the destination and ensure that tourist arrivals as well as the number of nights that tourists spend in the city continue to increase,” he said.
The minister said his ministry in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has already started training communities involved in the township tours.
He said his ministry has also put in place structures to support women and youths who will be involved the Township tourism.
“Sustainable tourism development can only be achieved through the positioning of our people as active participants in the tourism economy and not just passive onlookers to a tourism product and resource which God inherently bequeathed to them. In this regard, as a Ministry we have put in place structures to support the women and the youth which we hope will also cascade down to Bulawayo,” said the minister.