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99% of Airbnb’s in Harare are not licenced, says Tourism Minister 99% of Airbnb’s in Harare are not licenced, says Tourism Minister

Tourism Minister Barbara Rwodzi has highlighted that the majority of Airbnb operating in Harare are not registered as is required by the law. In Zimbabwe people intending to operate a tourism-related facility or service are required to be licenced by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) which is the regulator.

However, due to the economic situation in the country, some people are converting their houses into Airbnb to supplement their incomes.

To prevent paying taxes, most of the facilities are choosing not to register, as they try to evade the statutory 2% Tourism Levy. Speaking to the media recently, Minister Rwodzi said most of the airbnbs in Harare are operating illegally.

‘’We have a lot of Air BnBs in the Avenues area particularly in Harare most of them, 99% of them are not licenced, people are just waking up and call their homes Air BnB, they register somewhere booking.com or Expedia.com and people start to book particularly our own Zimbabweans who are in the diaspora. ’But when they get in trouble with the operators, that  is  when they know where ZTA is. They are looking for ZTA, so that we deal with this operator, and then when we go to this operator we realise they are not even registered. ’They don’t even have a licence, but it is not the problem of the tourist. The tourist was only looking for what they can afford, and it is our mandate, and our jurisdiction to ensure anyone who calls themselves a booking place to sleep,  they must be registered,’’ she said.

Minister Rwodzi said there are various standards and requirements that one is supposed to meet to run a tourism facility.

People in Zimbabwe are largely running away from formal hotels due to the issue of prices that are deemed to be expensive.

Source: Tourism Focus Zimbabwe