THE government has urged the hospitality sector to make comparisons with other countries in terms of pricing as they are pegging unreasonable prices.

Speaking during the launch of ZimBho in Kariba, Minister of Environment Climate Tourism and Hospitality Mangaliso Ndhlovu said the government is concerned with the prices being charged in Zimbabwe’s hotels and lodges.

The government exempted VAT on all tourism services for domestic tourists in a bid to reduce the prices being charged on tourism products and services.

“In removing the VAT the government had hoped that there will be a corresponding reduction in the cost of hospitality Institutions,” he said.

“I remain concerned that the rates charged by the hotels and lodges in Zimbabwe are still very high. I urge the industry to take stock of what is happening elsewhere, particularly in neighboring countries, and review your prices downwards.

“It’s disturbing that an average breakfast costs US25 or more in our hotels. That’s the price of a goat! Surely that cannot be justified regardless of even the much-touted “high cost of doing business” argument,” Ndhlovu said.

A survey made by this publication shows that the hotels are charging over US$100 per night in luxury rooms and close to US$100 in standard rooms.

“Government will continue looking at ways to make tourism affordable to the nationals and expects to see such incentives translating to price reductions in the sector for the benefit of the domestic market,” Ndhlovu said.

Kundai Mudzviti – Business Mail