ZTA to crack whip on unregistered operators

THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will begin a blitz on unregistered tourism operators, as it moves to restore order in the tourism sector.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

In January, government issued a moratorium for unregistered tour operators to register by yesterday or face a “blitz” from the authorities that will shut down their operations, with some arrests being effected.

Replying to a query made by NewsDay last week, ZTA chief operating officer, Givemore Chidzidzi said they would descend on the errant players, following various announcements for the unregistered operators to comply with the directive.

“We have made various announcements in the press and other platforms giving timelines for operators to register their establishments up to March 31 2018. In accordance to that announcement, we are going to enforce Section 36 of the Tourism Act which states that:,”Where, in terms of regulations made under section 57, any designated tourist facility is required to be registered or graded. No person shall conduct or operate that designated tourist facility unless it is so registered or graded, as the case may be,” he said.

“We will, therefore, move according to the provisions of this act to ensure that tour operators regularise their operations. Those who have not regularised by March 31 2018 risk facing closure of their operations.”
ZTA will be carrying out the clampdown on unregistered players with the necessary authorities as per directive from government.

In January, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Priscah Mupfumira issued the moratorium which expired on Saturday, warning that unregistered tour operators would face “swift action” if they did not take advantage of the moratorium.

The clampdown is part of Mupfumira’s vision to overturn the poor performance of the tourism sector into a significant economic contributor by 2030.

Tourism players have in the past complained that these unregistered players were cutting into their foreign currency generation potential.

Unregistered tourism operators have been blamed for a 14,71% dip in foreign currency receipts to $151,16 million for 2017 from $177,21 million recorded in
2016.