Monday, May 21, 2018

No concession fees to be charged for the local people who visit tourist hotels

Tanzanians who visits national game reserves are not supposed to pay any tax while in a tourist hotel, the deputy minister for Tourism and Natural Resources Japhet Asunga said in parliament last week. The deputy minister was responding to the supplementary question which was raised by the special seat legislator Catherine Magige (CCM) who wanted to know why Tanzanians are charged with concession fees in tourist hotels the same as foreigners. When answering the question, the deputy minister noted that, the concession fee is mainly targeted to be paid by foreign tourists and local tourists are exempted. Elaborating more, the minister further noted that the concession fee is charged at USD 25 in small game reserves such as Mikumi and USD 50 in bigger reserve national parks such as Serengeti. He said the government has collected the concession fee as up to March this year Tshs. 18.6 billion compared to last year’s amount collected of Tshs. 6.6 billion which is equivalent to an increase of 174 percent rate. Concerning with the Value Added Tax (VAT) the amount collected by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRTA) increased from Tssh. 1.2 billion to Tshs. 3.4 billion during the period under review. The deputy minister Hasunga confirmed in parliament that the tourist hotels have been responding positively by paying the said fee without hesitation, he also noted that, in the past  the exercise was rather difficult but now it has gained a momentum. He also noted that, the government has tried to its level best to educate owners of tourist hotels and has warned to take legal action to those who will defy paying the fees, although at the moment the government it trying to reduce numerous taxes which have been imposed on tourism sector.

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