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Government abolishes K3,000 Retention fees, boosting Tourism Industry growth

File:Guy Scott and Sylvia Masebo (right) admiring the Victoria Falls at Livingstone Island

The government has taken a significant step to support the tourism industry by abolishing the K3,000 retention fees for tourism businesses. This means that players in the tourism sector will only need to pay the registration fee without the additional retention fee, resulting in a K6,000 saving over a two-year period.

The decision was implemented through two Statutory Instruments: number 23 of 2023 of the Tourism and Hospitality, Accommodation Establishment Standards, Amendment Regulations of 2023, and Statutory Instrument number 24 of 2023 on the Tourism and Hospitality, Licensing Amendment Regulations of 2023.

Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba has explained that this move is part of the government’s efforts to reduce the cost of doing business in the tourism sector. By easing financial burdens on tourism businesses, the government aims to promote growth and development within the industry.

It’s worth noting that while this retention fee has been abolished for most players in the tourism industry, casino operators will continue to pay the K3,000 annual retention fee.

The Statutory Instruments came into effect on July 19th, indicating that the changes are already in effect.

The abolishment of the retention fees has been positively received by industry representatives. Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) Board Chairperson Daniel Brink sees it as a step in the right direction, and Livingstone Tourism Association Vice Chairperson Mike McNamara welcomes the development, as it is expected to have a positive impact on tourism businesses in the country.