- Mr Mwiimbu who is also Monze Central Member of Parliament said a five-star hotel in South Africa cost US$150 while in Zambia a two-star hotel cost US$200.
By SILUMESI MALUMO
FEES in the tourism sector are too high making tourists to shun visiting Zambia, therefore, it is important that these are re-duced, opposition Chief Whip Jack Mwiimbu has said.
Mr Mwiimbu who is also Monze Central Member of Parliament said a five-star hotel in South Africa cost US$150 while in Zambia a two-star hotel cost US$200.
He told Parliament yesterday foreign tourists who can bring more revenue in the country opt to go to South Africa with lower accommoda-tion and tourism fees.
The parliamentarian said measures which government had put in place in the tourism sector were not doing anything to attract tourists.
Mr Mwiimbu said, “It is important that Government consider reducing the fees in the tourism sector so that foreign tourists who were ea-ger to visit Zambia can come in and the country would be able to earn revenue.
“What is happening in the country is a sorry situation because we are not getting what we are supposed to be earning from the tourism sec-tor.
Tourism is a sector which is supposed to be sold to the world during this period especially that the mining sector is not doing well.
“We are supposed to put up fees that will attract people from foreign countries so that we can be able to generate revenue which will enable to improve the economy,” Mr Mwiimbu said.
He said as things stand, tourists would continue shunning Zambia because of the high costs.
During this period, Mr Mwiimbu said, the country is supposed to earn more revenue especially in the tourism sector to help the economy which is in a dire situation.
Reduce inflation, govt advised
Meanwhile, UPND Liuwa Member of Parliament Situmbeko Musokotwane has said Government needs to concentrate on lowering the inflation rate because it is hurting many poor Zambians.
Dr Musokotwane expressed concern on the continued rise of inflation which was making it difficult for the people to earn a living.
This came to light when acting Minister of Finance Stephen Kampyongo introduced in Parliament yesterday the notice of motion for the committee of ways and means to consider the raising of supply.
Mr Mwiimbu said that the inflation was increasing on a daily basis, this was making it hard for the people to provide for the families.
He told Parliament yesterday that even when the government had given a tax relief to people who earn about K4, 000, prices of goods were increasing each and every day but the salaries remained the same which was a huge burden to most families.
“When the Minister of Finance presented the 2021 budget, he talked about the tax relief which is commendable but even when there is re-lief the inflation has continued to increase it was on a single digit but now it is on double digits and the salaries being earned are nothing to these workers.
When the inflation goes up then prices will rise and the people will pay more when buying commodities which is a burden to them.
“I am urging the government to work on this in order to give a relief to Zambians who are feeling the burden,” he said.
Meanwhile Minister of Tourism and Arts Ronald Chitotela said that people were appreciating what the government was doing because the tax relief which had been given was helping many.
He also indicated that the tourism sector had been given a tax relief from 35 to 15 percent which would attract more investors to invest in the sector.
Such actions, Mr Chitotela said, would help for the sector to thrive.
“This tax relief which has been given to the tourism sector will an enabler of new businesses because investor will be attracted to invest,” Mr Chitotela said.