By GIDEON NYENDWA
GOVERNMENT is working on reducing levies that the players in the tourism sector incur to help reduce the cost of doing business, the Minister of Tourism and Arts, Mr Rodney Sikumba has said.
Mr. Sikumba said a number of licence fees were being harmonised into a single window that would be affordable to tourism operators.
He said the ministry together with the Ministry of Commerce and the councils are working on creating a single window by harmonising some of the licences.
Mr. Sikumba said this during a televised interview.
Mr. Sikumba said what the private sector does once they are lumped with a levy they do not cushion it but just pass it directly to the consumer thereby making their products and services expensive.
He said the government through the Business Review Regulatory Agency (BRRA) will review how many licences a business enterprise should apply for and see how best they can be harmonised into one thing.
Mr. Sikumba said the government will get into a stakeholder engagement with the operators in this sector and talk to them how life can be if all the layers in the licensing system can be put into one window.
He said product and services in the tourism sector have been expensive because of these multiple layers of licences that players in the sector have to pay for and pass the cost to the consumers.
Mr. Sikumba said the biggest problem in this ministry is product positioning by selling the product and services in-house to the local people then these people can go and sell Zambia to the outside.
“There is no better person that can sell Zambia better than the Zambians themselves,” he said.
He said Zambian should be allowed to explore and enjoy all the facilities that are in Zambia then they can go and sell the country out there.