The Zanzibar Revenue Authority’s (ZRA) amended US$5 infrastructure tax for hotels has ruffled feathers in the tourism industry, with some operators caught completely off guard due to the short notice of its implementation.
Tourism Update reader Bruno Van den Bossche, a Managing Partner at DMC Inspiration Africa, said while increased taxes were “easy to understand and accept”, the Tanzanian authorities had provided scant notice of the change.
“What is always very sad about all Tanzanian authorities is that they fail to understand the concept of sharing the information well in advance and providing sufficient notice before implementing things,” said Van den Bossche.
He said the decision to raise the tax from $1 to $5 had been made on Friday, June 30, gazetted on the same evening and made applicable the following day.
“As the first of July fell on a Saturday, most operators and hoteliers only found out by Monday, July 3. I had clients who were surprised by the tax. This time the tax is not huge, but sometimes it is, and the absence of any lead time always puts us, as tour operators, in a difficult position.”