Tanzania: The way forward for Tanzania’s tourism sector amid threats from third wave of Covid-19
A discussion of covid-19 and how it traumatized industrial women in the tourism sector that made the daily headlines (dated July 15, 2021) with a particular focus on women prompted my take on what Tanzania needs to do to institute a feasible long-term strategy to help improve Tanzania’s tourism sector amid covid-19 paraphernalia.
As I applaud the recent decision by the Tanzanian government to suspend land royalties for up to three months, in order to give the tourism industry more time to recover from the impact of the covid-19 pandemic , in my opinion, the tourism industry; whether local or international, is ostensibly one of the most vital, if not the most vital, bases of local and foreign currency income and, significantly, one of the sources of government revenue through the establishment jobs.
Recently, Tanapa, the state-run tourism and management agency, announced the roll-out of several new fees, including land rental rates targeting seasonal camps, permanent tent camps, and lodges located in in national parks to increase income.
Just as from July 1, 2021, the new land charges would rub against the payment of $ 2,000 for seasonal camps, $ 20,000 per year for permanent tent camps and lodges to pay $ 50,000 per year as a Base rent charges, for investors, in my opinion, sparked an uproar as many players in the industry try to fight the revival of the industry.
The fact that the government deferred these fees, in my opinion, is a big plus for its excellence. President Samia led the government, positioned to restore and stimulate economic activity and attract investment.
The sector, through its supply chain, generates land rents and revenues from green taxes, service taxes, and departure taxes, all of which provide much-needed fiscal space that every government needs to help provide public services to its population.
In countries like Tanzania, which are generally known to have the best tourist attractions, tax revenues from tourism activity represent a significant contribution to the government’s total tax revenue.
But during the pandemic, it is not specified that the six partner countries of the East African group, Tanzania involved, would have lost $ 4 billion and 2.1 million jobs due to the pandemic. covid-19 which has devastated the multibillion dollar tourism industry in the region.
Analysis of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s data sources for 2020 conceals that in 2019, tourism jobs, directly and indirectly associated with the industry, accounted for one in 10 jobs worldwide, or around 330 million. jobs around the world.
This indicates that for every tourism job created, almost 1.5 additional jobs are indirectly linked to tourism.
In my opinion, tourism has many backward and forward linkages for many sectors, for example travel logistics, translators, restaurants, cafes, laundry services, cultural centers and sports facilities etc. . beaches for water sports.
In addition, it also offers openings for private enterprise through the participation of local tour guides and travel agencies and promotes national retail services. Strategically, these freely observable sound effects, tourism gives an impetus to the agricultural sector, which benefits many farmers in this context of Tanzania.
From an economic point of view, this stems from the demand for food and liquid refreshments comprising fresh organic vegetables, which inspire production and, overall, promote agricultural growth and innovation, including providing income. stable to small and large farmers.
Covid-19 is now in its 3rd wave in parts of the world, new measures are emerging and in some places the threat of this wave despite vaccines has forced governments to close borders again, suspend flights and call most non-essential business ventures come to a standstill.
Excluding these austere measures, the IMF 2021 data source breakdown shows that global GDP, at the time of writing, is expected to decline by -3.5%, resulting in the loss of millions more jobs.
Provided that this perceived third global round of containment measures is likely to worsen economic damage, particularly in the tourism sector, how Tanzania is strategically aligning itself to promote investment in the tourism sector more strategic in the midst of the third wave of covid-19.
Undeniably, in all tourism circles in Tanzania, especially in the northern ring and islands of Zanzibar, many SMEs working in tourism dependent small businesses are working in tourism, which provides a vital source of income for both informal and formal businesses.
In addition, the two governments of the mainland and in particular of the islands of Zanzibar are holding on strongly to the sector, not only for foreign currencies, but also for the income generated by the levies and tariffs on the income related to tourism, thanks to import of tourism-related goods and ancillary services. .
In my opinion, the lack of vigilance on how to fight against the aftershocks envisaged could have a devastating result which could extend to the banks which could have granted credits to the industrialists serving active in the sector.
Analysis of how policy directives and statements are issued shows the adequacy of standard policy tools, for example fiscal and monetary policy ready enough to overcome the imagined decline in tourism, which in my opinion makes the case for favor of strategies to stimulate tourism demand and restore confidence – the realization with which Tanzania, as a preferred destination, must prepare to cope.
How our financial institutions managed by the Bank of Tanzania as a regulator would act in response to providing critical liquidity, will in my opinion be important to fully stem the losses in the sector.
Until a decision is made in Tanzania on which type of vaccine is right for the Tanzanian population, elsewhere hopes of a return to normal now rest on an inoculation of covid-19.
Although its execution is underway, it is unlikely to take hold of freedom, at least in the short term, as the UNWTO categorically states that there will be a contraction of the tourism sector which is expected to rebound to levels before covid-19 in 2.5 to 4 years.
At present, great uncertainty about adopting vaccination with far-reaching effectiveness means that tourism dependent countries and particularly countries like Tanzania where substantial investments have been made in health infrastructure. sector for hotels and lodges to transport logistics by exploring new and innovative means and financial arrangements to resuscitate the tourism industry needs a second financial eye since the leisure industry has many upstream links and downstream for many sectors in Tanzania.
What many don’t realize is that declining demand for tourism services has led to business closures and job losses and, in some businesses, has suppressed vital sources of income for many formal workers. and informal dependent on the leisure industry. This includes hotel employees, independent tour guides, and arts and crafts vendors, etc.
Before retreating on the views expressed in this editorial in an attempt to save the drowning tourism sector, several initiatives to revitalize the sector deserve to be revisited. At the macro level, there is a need for a quick line of action strategy to help execute conventional fiscal bailouts.
Essentially, lessons can be learned from past crises such as the September 11 attacks in the United States and the SARS and Ebola viruses, which had significant impacts on the tourism industry.
Even though these disasters did not have the same elements as covid-19 disease, in my opinion they created a common phenomenon of decreased desire to travel, and countries had to find solutions to stimulate demand, just as Tanzania needs to do critically. do today.
It is imperative that Tanzania be proactive rather than reactive, ensuring that contingency and disaster risk recovery plans and establishing risk management protocols for the tourism sector are in place.
In my opinion, stepping up tax support and bailouts would remain essential to prevent further job losses incurred during the first wave of covid-19, mainly for SMEs.
As in other countries, SMEs bear a large part of the costs associated with induced covid-19 as they represent a significant part of the tourism sector.