Browse Regions
Industry objects to new Zim aviation fee
Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The controversial new Zimbabwean Aviation Infrastructural Development Fee (AIDF), which sparked outrage among the country’s tourism industry, has been postponed for the time being. David Chatowa, GM of the Civil Aviation Authority Zimbabwe (CAAZ), explains: “The AIDF will not be part of CAAZ's recurrent operational revenues and therefore systems have to be put in place to ensure effective collection and employment of the funds.”

The new fee, which was originally planned for departures from April 1, adds an extra US$30 to international flights and an extra US$10 to domestic flights. It will be used to rehabilitate and develop aviation infrastructure in Zimbabwe, explains Chatowa. “This concept of funding infrastructural development is not new to the aviation industry, as it has been, and is still being, employed in several countries across the world.” Chatowa says concrete plans are already in place to upgrade Buffalo Range, Harare, JM Nkomo and Victoria Falls airports.

The Zimbabwean tourism industry is up in arms about the new fee, claiming it will make Zimbabwe less attractive and less competitive, especially compared with Zambia. Emmanuel Fundira, President of Zimbabwe Council for Tourism, says: “The introduction of this additional tax is extortionate and punitive both to the international traveller and to the travel agent who runs the risk of being priced out of the market.”

Tony Peel, Victoria Falls Guide, agrees: “Flights directly into Zimbabwe are already considerably [more expensive] than flights into Livingstone. Many people already choose to fly to Zambia and then cross the border to Zimbabwe. For South Africans, this is especially cheaper as they don't have to pay for a Zambian visa. Even for foreign tourists who have to buy a visa it still works out cheaper. The new tax will just make this difference in prices bigger.” For Peel, however, a new tax is a good idea but US$30 is just too high. “US$10 would make no difference to a traveller and would not scare away any current visitors and therefore in the end result in the same revenue.”

According to Ross Kennedy, CE Africa Albida Tourism, the potential impact on tourism can only be guessed at as travellers make decisions based on many factors before choosing a destination, with cost being only one that influences the decision process. “The key issue for me is that ANY charge/tax/levy that may make Zimbabwe less attractive or less competitive as a destination is a challenge that we can well do without and should avoid wherever possible.”

Chatowa, however, minimises the impact of the new levy on tourism to the country. “If there is negative impact on tourism inflows it is not because of the fund but because of other reasons. Countries currently employing this means have not suffered a tourism decline due to its introduction.” He continues by saying tourists will enjoy the fruits of this initiative within the next 10 years.

Dorine Reinstein

The Editor

By : Tourism Update
During 1972, Milan, a good cartier replica designer vision regarding Versace's job, together with identified as this woman together with required breitling replica that will northern for Milan. Versace psyched together with without delay boarded any workout that will Milan get started on this way work, anytime mainly twenty-three years old.