GIVE US TAX RELIEF FOR FUEL HOTELIERS DEMAND
A high level meeting yesterday in Dar es Salaam by officials of the Hotel Association of Tanzania resulted in government being told to allow immediate tax and excise relief of at least 20 percent on fuel used to run generators or else risk condemning the sector to massive losses.
The ongoing power crisis in Tanzania, often reported about here, has reached new levels earlier in the week prompting the hoteliers to use their own generators as back up when the main electricity supply is switched off for rationing, but at a cost, going by claims made yesterday by a top association executive, which were wiping out any profits member hotels were making. HAT has nearly 100 members from amongst hotel operators across Tanzania and is the industry’s principal organ to voice concerns to government, which has been accused to ignore the dire situation TANESCO has put the country in. Tourists and business visitors, considering the hot and humid climate in Dar es Salaam, expect services in hotels to be fully functional or else demand major refunds should elevators and air conditioners fail, hence the need for hotels to run generators.
Beach resorts too are said to be equally affected similar to the city’s business hotels.
Added a regular contributor of information from Dar: ‘this makes promoting tourism even harder now. Our government does not seem to understand what is going on under their noses. Tanzania has a lot of negative publicity over the Serengeti highway plans, where people abroad claim the government has lied to UNESCO and still plans to build a highway, then the Lake Natron issue, the Eastern Arc Mountains, the Selous and the Tanga Marine National Park, and now this! The tourists coming here read it in papers, see it with their own eyes that there is no power, so will any of them send their friends to visit when we are full of so many problems? Tour guides and drivers tell them exactly what is going on in Tanzania when they are on safari for a week or longer. If government does not listen now and come to the aid of the hotels and give better commitments on conservation, our 50th independence anniversary will be a reminder of how badly we manage our own affairs. And let us stop kidding each other, blaming the colonialists after half a century is no longer believable. Government has to wake up to reality or get out and make space for those who can improve our living conditions’.
As always, watch this space as dissent appears to spread in Tanzania.