Tanzania: Licence Fees Review Attracts Women in Tourism Business
REVIEW of annual tourism licence fees will greatly allow small local tourism practitioners particularly women to participate in operating tours, the Chairperson of the Association of Women in Tourism Tanzania (AWOTTA) Ms Mary Kalikawe has said.
She told the 'Daily News' here yesterday that she was optimistic that the revision of the annual fees would allow more small local tourism practitioners including women to participate in operating tours.
"Revision of the annual fees will greatly allow small local tourism practitioners including the women to take active role in operating tours," said Ms Kalikawe, an entrepreneur, businesswoman and longtime stakeholder in the tourism industry.
She said Tanzania was predicted to register more impressive landmark in the tourism sector in the near future if it remains focused and investing in the number of diversified products rather than largely focusing on wildlife tourism.
Rich and rare mineral resources such as Tanzanite and others, forests and large inland lakes, enormous long beaches and cultures have not so far being promoted enough to attract tourists' attention calling for bodies like the Tanzania Tourists Board (TTB) to unearth more concealed attractions for more economical gains.
"Tanzania tourism sector is doing relatively well but suffers from a strong lack of diversified products. We are largely focusing on wildlife as the only form of serious tourism but we can equally perform wonders if turn to other attractions," she said.
The new rates have already been confirmed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Major General Gaudence Milanzi saying the changes have been gazetted since last December ready for implementation.
Ms Kalikawe, also the Managing Director of Kiroyera Tours Limited said challenges facing the sector and the poor involvement of women as equal partners in tourism were debated during the Association of Women in Tourism Tanzania(AWOTTA) annual general meeting.
She said a lot has to be done for women take key roles in the tourism sector as many were still found in the lower service cadre such as housekeeping, waiters, secretaries and the likes.
Previously, Tanzania had been charging a tourism operator flat rate fee of 5,000 US Dollars for foreignowned tour companies and 2,000 US Dollars for local operators. But following the revisions, now local companies with one to three tourist vans will pay a licence fee of 500 US Dollars, four to 10 vans (2,000 US Dollars), 11 to 50 vans (3,000US Dollars) and 51vans and above (5,000 US Dollars) annually.
"The former flat rate of 2000 US Dollars annual licence fee was prohibitive to many local players while the sector still suffers from a very high cost of doing business with too many fees to being paid to a variety of regulators and authorities," she noted.