Currency issues responsible for slow appetite for tourism fund, TBCZ
HARARE – The Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) says the uptake of the $15 million Tourism Revolving Fund has been slow because it is not denominated in US Dollars.
The incentive, set up by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was aimed at supporting refurbishment and expansion programs by the industry players.
“As far as we know, we don’t have the latest statistics in terms of the uptake but the uptake was very slow from what I know and last year it was very slow with only a few members have taken the offer,” said TBCZ Vice President Wengayi Nhau during a quarterly media briefing held in the capital.
“The major problem there was that of getting the currency in RTGS and most of the people would want to actually use it to acquire capital goods from outside the country so you would need it actually in foreign currency so it becomes very costly so that you are getting RTGS and then you have to fetch for US Dollar and eventually people end up losing interest because of that,”
TBCZ chief executive officer Paul Matamira weighed in and said “if they could be that same revolving fund denominated in US Dollars since because most of the borrowing is capital expenditure beyond our borders, we are able to utilize this in US Dollars bearing in mind that we earn US dollars so repayment will also be done in US Dollars in the same currency that we have borrowed.”
TBCZ is currently engaging the employers council, employees as well as other stakeholders so that will come up with concrete resolutions and agreements on the issues relating to salary adjustments to at least cushion workers from upheaval movement of the economy.
Tourism is really at the bottom of the value chain and so the all inputs used will be coming from different industries. President Winnie Muchanyuka said the rates movements affects the industry’s operations.
“The impact is felt greatly because by the time you receive all the inputs that you need for the products that you actually put out prices have escalated and prices have been compounded so we are not exempt from the phenomenon in the economy,” she said.