Z’bar tourist hotels to get foreign exchange licence

THE Central Bank plans to give tourist hotels in Zanzibar bureaux de change licence to facilitate foreign exchange dealings.

The Central Bank Governor, Emmanuel Tutuba said in Dar es Salaam on Monday that the plans followed a survey in Zanzibar that showed the hotels had foreign currency transactions and they required to be facilitated to operate according to Foreign Exchange (Bureau De Change) Regulations of 2019.

“The survey showed tourist hotels in Zanzibar receive US dollars from visitors and they use local currency to buy items in the local market.

Hence, they need to be facilitated to get foreign exchange licence. So we have opened a special window to give bureaux de change licences to tourist hotels,” said Mr Tutuba at the opening of a meeting with owners of bureaux de change.

Tourism is one of key sectors for economic growth and the leading earner of foreign exchange in Zanzibar the government was striving to improve the business and investment environment to help businesses flourish.

“Our objective is to continue building enabling environment for businesses to strive so they can provide jobs and trade openings and contribute to the growth and development, said Mr Tutuba

. The Isles government has increased hotel levy to five US dollars for every occupied room each night to help the semiautonomous island raise extra revenue.

The Finance Minister, Saada Mkuya Salum said in the 2023/24 budget statement that the new levy would neither affect the hotel industry nor reduce tourist visits into the country as feared by managers in the hospitality sector.

Tanzania like many other countries is grappling with dollar shortages to finance her burgeoning economy due to impacts of the war in Ukraine that has disrupted global supplies sending commodity prices, notably on food and energy, soaring.

In another development, Mr Tutuba said the Central Bank has finalised preparations for issuing guarantees for local exporters under Export and SMEs Credit Guarantee Schemes.

The government is reviving Export and SMEs Credit Guarantee Schemes to boost local production and exports through promotion of import substitution to reduce the country’s dependence on imports. “We have completed preparations.

We want to begin providing guarantees to qualified exporters,” said Mr Tutuba at the meeting with bureaux de change owners.

He said the Central Bank had opened the window for export guarantee scheme and was inviting banks to provide credit to local entrepreneurs and exporters and the central bank would provide guarantees.

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