Team Tourism to clear IATA debt

Herald Correspondent
Government has formed Team Tourism, a collaborative working group led by Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira to work with other stakeholders to revamp the tourism sector in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030.

Team Tourism on Sunday met Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya.

They discussed, among other issues, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) repatriation debt.

“The team’s meeting with the Ministry of Finance and the RBZ discussed the IATA debt in great detail and a resolution to immediately address the skyrocketing repatriation debt was reached. A payment plan was agreed on and the Ministry of Finance, through the RBZ, will make significant monthly payment of US$4 million a month towards the $150 million debt,” said a source who attended the meeting.

Stakeholders in the tourism sector hailed the establishment of Team Tourism as a step in the right direction.

“This meeting was long overdue and we are glad it happened. I must say that the meeting put a lot of operational issues into perspective for all parties in attendance,” said Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, Board of Airline Representatives president.

“We negotiated and came to an agreement on a payment plan. Airlines welcome the move as this will allay any fears from us as airline operators. We are very confident that as soon as the payment plan sets in, we can continue with service delivery without any hindrances,” she said.

Safari Operators’ president Mr Emmanuel Fundira also welcomed the development.

“This is such a welcome development; it is a step in the right direction for the tourism sector. We would like to applaud Government for a swift and quick response to the matter,” he said

Team Tourism will work closely with stakeholders in the tourism sector like Immigration, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Tourism Business Council, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, etc. representatives, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and safari operators, among others.

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