Ministry of Finance implemented Infrastructure Tax on 1 July as planned
PS of Ministry of Finance, Khamis Mussa Omar, agreed to meet with ZATI on 29 July to discuss the Infrastructure Tax. Despite strong advocacy efforts of ZATI and its members, the PS confirmed that the tax was fully implemented as of 1 July and that there will be no change to this as it forms part of the budget to cover infrastructure requirements – initially aimed at making improvements to security. During discussions, the PS agreed that improvements could be made regarding the consultation process, and more time and information could be considered so that investors can plan and budget properly. To work towards improving the process in future and encouraging transparency between the Ministry and the industry, the following was agreed in addition to ZATIs existing participation in the quarterly Taxation Forum and pre-budget meeting:
• Quarterly meetings to trouble-shoot emergency issues in October/January/April/July
• A ‘special session’ meeting to discuss tax reforms in January/February
• ZATI write a letter asking for the quick resolve of around five immediate issues for urgent attention – to include the hotel levy, tax returns/payment deadlines, circular for infrastructure tax…that were also raised during the meeting.
• ZATI should conduct the planned reform paper covering tourism taxation issues.
ZATI members were very active and supportive on this advocacy issue and it was unfortunate that we were unable to make an immediate change. But it is important to bear in mind that advocacy on this issue will continue as part of our BEST-Dialogue funded project to review the tourism taxation regime in Zanzibar. Advocacy is a detailed and long-term engagement – and making a change is usually a relatively slow process as changing attitudes and positions requires ongoing engagement, discussion, argument, and negotiation. ZNCCIA also submitted a separate position paper opposing the infrastructure tax.
Tourism Taxation Review
ZATI has received funding to conduct a full review the tourism tax regime in Zanzibar and develop a raft of proposals for the Government aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Zanzibar. The Infrastructure Tax, as explained above, will be included in the review. Dr Mahangila (lecturer at Dar University, and tax consultant) has been appointed as the key consultant – and he is currently conducting desk research. Dr Mahangila will be meeting with public and private stakeholders over the upcoming week and there will also be an opportunity to take part in workshops – so please make sure that you participate in this consultation. For more, visit – http://www.zati.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/PR-ZATI-receives-funding-to-review-tourism-tax-regime-160415.pdf
ZATI asks Fisheries to reconsider new Marine Conservation Unit Regulations
ZATI and ZATO met with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, including the PS, Kassim Gharib Juma, about the introduction of the new Marine Conservation Unit Regulations, which allow for the expansion of the size of the marine conservation areas around Zanzibar and an increase park entry fees from $3 to $10 per person per day, along with $20 anchorage fee per day. Although it was agreed that a Marine Conservation Unit (MCU) that is effective and able to manage and conserve the environment is necessary – ZATI is not able to support the new and excessive fees and proposed zoning as this will have a huge impact on tourism investors – as well as an impact on every tourist visiting Zanzibar. The initial meeting with the PS (June) was engaging and ZATI & ZATO discussed the issues raised by members. This led to the creation of a small technical committee (consisting of ZATI/ZATO/ Fisheries) that discuss the Regulation in a follow up meeting to seek common ground. ZATI successfully presented the feedback prepared on the Regulations and appears to have won a reprieve for a while – although no deadlines have been discussed as yet. Fisheries took onboard the fact that it was not possible to go back to tour operators asking for additional fees to cover the new price increases, thus leaving operators unable to absorb cost at the last minute. Fisheries seemed to be willing to have open discussions and we are currently gathering evidence (supplier contracts that show that holiday/tour prices are pre-agreed) to support advocacy in this area. If you are able to share supportive documents please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dolphin Initiative Survey by African Impact
African Impact Marine Conservation is currently developing a program to make dolphin swims in Kizimkazi more responsible. It is looking for ZATI members to support this initiative and participate in training, have their guests complete questionnaires and ultimately ensure they use the preferred operators. They will be hosting skills development workshops with boat operators, training them on how to conduct a responsible dolphin swim, as well as train concierges, tour operators and guides on instructions they should be giving tourists before going on a tour. Please complete the questionnaire and view additional information here – Zanzibar Hotel Questionnaire – http://www.zati.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ZNZ-Hotel-Q-2015-PDF.pdf / Tourist Questionnaire – http://www.zati.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Tourist-Q-4.pdf / The African Impact Marine Conservation project Zanzibar – http://www.zati.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ZNZ-African-Impact-Info-2015.pdf
Zanzibar Environmental Management Institutional – Structural Changes
A newly established Act includes changes to the Environmental Management Institutional Structure – and there will now be a Zanzibar Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) and Department of Environment (DoE.) ZEMA is responsible for managing the implementation and adherence of the act as well as to evaluate the environmental impact and reduce / control the environmental destruction and pollution in Zanzibar. The contact is Mr. Sheha Mjaja Juma, Managing/Executive Director on +255 777 420 801 and email@example.com. DoE is primarily responsible for provision of environmental tools and coordinate the implementation of international and regional environmental and climate change contracts. The contact is Mr. Juma Bakar Alawi, Managing / Executive Director on +255 777 477 303 and firstname.lastname@example.org
ZATI security and judiciary review closes
Although, the security and judiciary review project is now officially closed, ZATI will continue to advocate in this area. Already, some ZATI recommendations have been implemented e.g. CCTV security cameras are being installed throughout Stone Town (to be ready in September), with plans to introduce in other tourist areas. ZATI Chairman appeared in the media (TBC etc) discussing security and CCVT. Another outcome of the project is that the Act to establish JKU (Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi) Security Guard Agency for hotels has been signed off with the main objectives – ‘to supervise and improve security guard services in investment tourism areas of public and private institutions.’ For full details on ZATI security and judiciary advocacy visit – http://www.zati.org/advocacy/
Police Commissioner agrees to regional visits to tourism investors
Police Commissioner, Mr. Hamdan Omar Makame, has agreed to visit hoteliers in the regions in August to discuss security in the local areas, challenges that members/Police face and to give reassurances about the upcoming elections. Dates will be confirmed shortly.
Minister of State gives assurances of peaceful elections
ZATI met with the Minister of State, Mohamed Aboud Mohamed, last month to discuss the upcoming elections. Mr Mohamed gave his assurances that Zanzibar is safe and will have peaceful, free and fair elections in October. He confirmed that the President is doing all he can to manage the situation and promote a peaceful election. ZATI encourages all leaders to advocate for peaceful elections to help ensure that they run smoothly.
ZATI receives funding for review of tourism skills project
ZATI application for funding to conduct a project on tourism skills/labour force was approved. The objective of assignment is to assess the existing skills situation within the tourism industry – barriers and challenges – and how it can be matched to the sector. Consultant, Joseph Nganga (Senior Economist for Ministry of Labour and Employment) has been recruited to conduct the pre-project research.
Power improvements in near future
ZECO has confirmed that there have been zonal electricty rations affecting the island due to the commissioning exercise of the gas turbine plant at Kinyerezi Dar es Salaam, where the completion of the project will improve the availability of reliable power from the grid. The planned days for rations are Tuesday and Thursday, for 2.5hours. The zonal rationing started 6 August will last for around 15 days.
TRA External Stakeholder Questionnaire
TRA has engaged Her Majestys Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of UK to conduct an independent “External Transparency and Integrity Review” with an objective of assessing the extent to which TRA conforms to Integrity Management best practices. For ease of analysis, a “Survey Monkey” has been applied. In case you get stuck in accessing the questionnaire, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Shaibu Mmari or Mr. Mika Kiremera through email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or mobiles 0762982292 and 0786393933 respectively. Please complete the survey here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YTMPDMF
Warning over counterfeit USD notes
ZATI has received reports of fake USD notes and advises members to remain vigilant at all times and to check all notes as they are being passed in payment. Counterfeiters will target businesses where they know that banknotes are not being checked. If you do come across a counterfeit banknote, it is important that the police are contacted in all instances. They may be aware of others in the local area who have also reported counterfeit notes. They may also want to pass on warnings to others via a local network which may prevent further instances and/or lead to an arrest. Counterfeit banknotes are part of organised criminal activity. Each counterfeit note is evidence.
Launch of a Commercial Court in Zanzibar
Zanzibar has established another division of the High Court which will be dealing purely with Commercial Cases. The official launch of this Court happened earlier this month, and will be followed by the first meeting of the court users committee. ZATI Chairman, Omar Said Shaaban, has been appointed to sit on this committee, under his capacity as an Advocate representing Advocates. We will be sharing further information with members about the jurisdictions of this court – and how the business community can make uses of this court.
Zanzibar Socio – Economic Survey (March 2015)
The Office of the Chief Government Statistician has published its Economic Survey for 2014. The report informs and appraises the progress the country has achieved on economic policies and programs that the Government of Zanzibar launched. The survey reflects and narrates the evaluation of present situation, tracking changes, assessing trends and appraising achievements with respect to socio-economic environment. It includes in-depth statistical analysis of the tourism industry from page 28. The report says that ‘Zanzibar tourism has been an instrument in the socio-economic development of the country; due to the commitment and careful planning of the Zanzibar government, the tourism sector has a potential to greatly contribute to the strengthening of the fundamentals of the economy to enable the country control her plentiful opportunities. It is also one of fastest growing service sector of the economy and a major foreign exchange earner.’ Review the full report here – http://www.ocgs.go.tz/index.php/sofga/read/id/163
Busara Festival under threat
Sauti za Busara festival will be cancelled next year unless funding can be found to keep it supported! You are invited to attend an emergency meeting on Thursday to show your support. Please could you share this information with any businesses or organisations in Zanzibar or mainland Tanzania that can help, as soon as possible, and ask interested parties to contact the festival management on the number listed in the letter. The festival brings in many tourists every year, with valuable tourism income as well as excellent PR for the islands – during a time when it would normally be low season here. It also provides vocational training and support for a great number of Zanzibaris who are involved in bringing the festival to life every year. It is in all our interests to ensure that the Sauti za Busara festival is able to continue. A minimum of 20 companies are needed to pay $10,000 each. Page 2 of the letter shows what benefits can be gained from sponsorship – and there are special reduced sponsorship offers for ZATI members, including reduced amount for hotel’s contributions to $1000 for listings with web links (with immediate effect, and until end of March.) Please find more here – http://www.zati.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Invite_to_Emergency_Meeting_SzB_2016_5_.pdf
ZATI Annual Dinner Party – HOLD THE DATE
ZATI has just confirmed that its annual dinner party will be held on Saturday 12 December. Full details to follow!
Hospitality Round Table
ZATI will be participating in the second Hospitality Roundtable 2015 to be held in Dar es Salaam on 7th and 8th December 2015. HAT and TATO have joined as partners as well as international tourism and hospitality businesses like ehotelier.com and Swiss Air. International hotel groups will be attending as well as consultants knowing the market, trends and opportunities structuring growth in Africa. For more information visit – http://www.hospitalityroundtabletz.com
Indian food promotion starts in Zanzibar – PARK HYATT
HARISH Tiwari on Friday evening filled the ‘Park Hyatt Zanzibar’ Hotel dining room with the aroma of Indian spices, as he demonstrated different dishes at the start of ‘Indian food promotion week.’ Specialised in Indian cuisine, Mr Tiwari, a staff of Hyatt Regency Gurgaon, New Delhi in India, was invited to show his chef skills, as he prepared and displayed the Indian sauces, pickles, spice mixes, and kababs. For more visit – http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/local-news/48237-indian-food-promotion-starts-in-zanzibar
A small island that leaves a big impression – DOUBLETREE HILTON / ZANZIBAR PARASAILING / MERCURY’S BAR
David Dunn visits Zanzibar – A small island that leaves a great impression. David, travel writer and freelance journalist contacted ZATI for information on Zanzibar and here is his first review featuring Double Tree Hilton, Zanzibar Parasailing and Mercury’s Bar – http://www.zati.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Zanzibar-Profile.pdf
A small island that leaves a great impression – more international features!
For more coverage from travel writer and freelance journalist, David Dunn, visit – http://www.zati.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Zanzibar-Profile.pdf . And there is more coverage here – http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/28/travel/zanzibar-tanzania-turtles/ , http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/TRAVEL-beautiful-want-leave/story-26554096-detail/story.html , http://assets.editionhotels.com/2f59225b/Hull%20Daily%20Mail16th%20May%202015.pdf , http://7days.ae/discover-the-perfect-blend-of-peace-and-culture-in-zanzibar
Police train 180 special officers for elections
The police has trained 180 officers in Public Order Command to strengthen security for the general election in October. For more visit – http://www.ippmedia.com/?l=82873
UN launches $25MN scheme to support Tanzanian democracy – project aims to promote legal, institutional reforms and inclusive electoral process
The UN’s office in Tanzania has reaffirmed its commitment to the country’s democratization process through a $25-million initiative – dubbed the Democratic Empowerment Project (DEP) – to be carried out by the United Nations Development Program in collaboration with the UN Women organization and UNESCO. “The UN will continue to work closely with the Tanzanian authorities and its people to ensure the coming election [slated for October 25] is free and fair,” UN Resident Coordinator Alvaro Rodriguez said in a press statement. For more visit – http://www.newstimeafrica.com/archives/40538
Investigations into ivory seized at Zurich airport ongoing
The government said yesterday that it was still investigating the 262 kilogrammes of ivory seized last week at Zurich airport en route to China. According to reports the ivory was discovered in eight suitcases carried by three Chinese nationals who were traveling from the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam to Beijing via Zurich, Switzerland… In June, Tanzania’s government revealed latest data on the number of elephants in the country: the decrease is equal to 60% from 2009, and the population passed from some 109,000 to 43,500 individuals in 2014. For more visit – http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=83228
Below is the list of the ZATI representatives and their key areas of responsibility. Please contact ZATI on email@example.com or 0772 823 234 if you have any queries or need any assistance and we will ensure that you are connected with the correct representative/s for assistance.
||Responsible for/ Title
|Omar S. Shaaban
||Legal Matters & Security
||Infrastructure (Airport, Seaport & Roads)
||ZCT & Ministry of Tourism – Permits/ Regulations
||Marine & General Environment
||Marine & General Environment
||Skills / Taxation
|| Skills / Government Coordination
||Infrastructure (Airport, Seaport & Roads)
||Utilities – Water, Waste & Electricity
||Events & PR
||Board of Trustee
|| Member PR / Government Coordination
||Board of Trustee
||Infrastructure (Airport, Seaport & Roads)
||Board of Trustee
||Taxation & Tanzania Rep with other stakeholder
||Honorary Board Member
Support ZATI advocacy for sustainable and responsible tourism | Membership from $100 | Register here – Registration
ZATI works primarily to support its member’s interest and thereby protect the largest and fastest growing private sector industry – and one of the largest contributors to the economy and employment in Zanzibar. This is achieved via the involvement of members, sponsors and Government. The improvements that ZATI advocate for on behalf of its members, include policing and security, taxation, utilities, conservation, skills, airport/seaport facilities, destination marketing, which are all essential to a sustainable tourism industry. ZATI works alongside public and private partners to help develop responsible and sustainable tourism. You can apply to join ZATI here – Registration. Find out more about ZATI at http://www.zati.org and Facebook at – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zanzibar-Association-of-Tourism-Investors/216994315120139?ref=br_tf