Home » Travel » Govt to Plug Leakages in Tourism Sector

GOVERNMENT intends to plug leakages of export earnings in the tourism hunting sub-sector by introducing a web-based application that will provide real time and online processing of returns. The Tourism Receipts Accounting System Form Number 2 a web-based application for online approval of hunts by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, data capturing by consumptive tourism operators, taxidermists and banks will be introduced by January next year.

In the Monetary Policy Statement in January, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said that the country experienced endemic leakages of earnings in the tourism sector, particularly with regards to non-consumptive tourism. In order to effectively plug these loopholes that drained the economy of substantial tourism receipts, and ensure that the sector meaningfully contributes to foreign exchange generation, a new reporting and monitoring framework was put in place.

The Form TR2, which the new system seeks to replace, was introduced through Statutory Instrument 143 of July 2003, as a manual system for reporting of commercial hunts and accounting for earnings from foreign tourism in wildlife hunting.

The new application will be accessible on the current Computerised Export Payments Exchange Control System module used by the central bank.

The TRAS2 will link all consumptive tourism operators, ZPWMA, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, authorised dealers, banks and the RBZ.

A trial run for the new system, which will provide accurate and up-to-date database on consumptive tourism operators, will run from July to December before roll out in January 2015.

“We have a very tight programme and there is no negotiation on the deadline. We need to roll out the system by January next year,” said Mr Moris Mpofu, RBZ senior division chief, exchange control.

Mr Mpofu was addressing stakeholders in the consumptive tourism sector who convened in Harare yesterday to make input into the new system.

In its current state, the Form TR2 faced challenges that included the lag between time of transaction and data availability to National Parks and RBZ and the high costs associated with printing of manual Forms TR2 which comprised of 5 copies per each set.

High costs associated with paper filing and documentation retrieval and manual processes resulting in operational bottlenecks were the other challenges associated with the old system.

“In light of the shortcomings of the Form TR2, all stakeholders need to come up with a new framework that transforms the current Form TR2 into an effective, robust, efficient, all-encompassing, adaptive, convenient and user-friendly system,” said Mr Mpofu.

Some of the attributes of the proposed Form TRAS2 include quick generation of accurate reports on hunting earnings, effective accounting of export receipts, real time and online processing of returns and is adaptable to any policy changes. The web-based application is easily accessible, less cumbersome, easy to complete, less costly for the operators and relatively easy to enforce compliance including 2 percent levy collected on behalf of ZTA.

It will ensure improved measurement of the contribution of tourism services to the national economy by addressing Government and industry information needs and supporting the Tourism Satellite Account concept provide real time statistical figures and effective monitoring of quota utilisation by ZPWMA.

Source : The Herald