UN Agency Opposed To AU’s Bid To Impose Tourism Tax In Africa

UN Agency Opposed To AU’s Bid To Impose Tourism Tax In Africa

Written by Philip Mwakio | From Standard

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation ( UNWTO) has opposed attempts by the African Union (AU) to impose taxes on air transport and hotel stays in Africa.

Secretary-General Taleb Rifai expressed serious concerns about the negative impact of the move, currently being discussed among members of AU on Africa’s tourism sector.

He noted that tourism is one of the main contributors to Africa’s balance of payments, a source of livelihood for millions in the continent and one of the sectors where the region has a major competitive advantage in international markets.

“A tourism tax in Africa is a threat to the competiveness of the region and to all African economies, which  have tourism as a key pillar to their development,” stated Mr Rifai.

He said any decision on the possible imposition of a tourism tax in Africa should be carefully evaluated as to the negative impact it would have on tourism demand, economic growth and jobs.

This concern was echoed by the Ministers of Tourism of the region attending the 56th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa, held in Angola last month. Participants identified increased taxation as one of the main obstacles to the sustainable development of tourism and aviation in the region.

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