PARLIAMENT APPROVES BILL ALLOWING MOZAMBICAN GOVT TO IMPOSE TOURISM FEE

Mozambique’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, has approved a Bill to allow the government to issue a decree-law establishing a tourism fee to be added to the accommodation bill of every tourist visiting the country’s hotels, lodges and similar establishments.

The Bill giving the government this power is very short, and reads like a blank cheque, since it does not establish any limit on the new tourism fee. It is called a fee rather than a tax, because only the Assembly itself can legislate on new taxes.

Opposition deputies protested at the passage of the Bill Wednesday, arguing that the government’s power to pass decree-laws was being abused.

The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Silva Dunduru, said the money raised through the fee would be used to promote and market Mozambican tourist attractions abroad, and would thus bring more tourists to the country.

The opposition, however, warned that, by making visits to the country more expensive, it might have the opposite effect, and reduce the number of tourists.

“This will increase the costs of tourism, particularly for Mozambicans,” said Armando Artur of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) party.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK