Policy shift inevitable to tap EAC common market

Policy shift inevitable to tap EAC common market

This is according to Vice- Chairman of the Tourism Confederation of Tanzania Leopold Kabendera, who also chairs the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators.“For the country to attract millions of tourists and take advantage of initiatives like East African Common Market Protocol, we must get ready to make sweeping changes to
enable tourism sector to run instead of walking at a snail pace,” he said.

Mr Kabendera said Tanzania is supposed to attract the highest number of tourists in the region but, unfortunately, the country still lags behind. He said small countries like Rwanda were likely to overtake Tanzania.Rwanda receives 600,000 tourists, closely trailing Tanzania’s 800,000 while Kenya and Uganda last year received 1.2 million and 900,000 tourists, respectively.

The marketing of destination Tanzania through holistic approaches and getting rid of over regulations in the tourism sector are inevitable to increase the number of tourists in the country, said Mr Kabendera.According to Chairperson of Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA-Arusha) Adolf Olomi, despite the gains made in tourism sector in recent years, reinforcement of marketing efforts are critical to tap
business opportunities under the Common Market Protocol.

“The more tourists we attract, the more the economy improves,” said Mr Olomi, noting that other sectors like agriculture and manufacturing would grow further if the
number of tourists in the country doubles or triples.

He said TCCIA-Arusha has commissioned a research into the challenges and
opportunities in the implementation of the EAC common market
protocol and the country’s role in creating attractive environment for
increased private sector activities across the borders.

Meanwhile, TCCIA Morogoro has commissioned an independent study on challenges facing Value Added Tax (VAT) registered businesses in operating Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) in Morogoro, Iringa and Njombe regions.TCCIA Morogoro Regional Chairman, Bachoo Bachoo said in a statement  that Morogoro region is ranked in group A in tax payment, but efficiency or inefficiency of EFDs were increasingly becoming a serious business issue.

“Many of our members are not happy with most of EFDs. That is why we saw it necessary to do a study that would show how traders could deal with the challenges of using the devices,” said Mr Bachoo.The government, through the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), introduced the EFDs in the Finance Act, 2010 to replace Electronic Cash Registers, with the view of enhancing VAT collections.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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