Cape Town - While British tourists are a hot favourite when it comes to
visiting South Africa, local travellers have also been toying with the idea of
heading overseas with a more favourable rand exchange rate, thanks to the
travellers to London could see a 5% increase in their hotel stays with a £1-pound
a night tax added to their bill, said to be part of a plan that sees
international tourists helping the city to raise some £5-million,
as it faces a 20% cut in its operating budget.
SEE: Brexit tourists: SA’s rand ranked 4th in strongest gains
against dollar-mauled pound
is supported by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who stated at a press conference that London is the
number one destination for tourists in the world and this would go a long way
in help the city cover some of its maintenance costs.
do very well out of that. What we're saying is when the tourists come they opt
to pay a small levy which will help improve the city."
welcomed a record 14 million international visits in the first nine months of 2016
putting the city on course for another bumper tourism year, according to
International Passenger Survey (IPS) figures released by London Partners.com, which shows that from
July to September 2016 there were 5.2 million overseas visits to the city, a
decrease of 0.8 percent when compared to the same period in 2015 but the second
highest summer period on record.
SEE: Cape Town drops 10 places in Top Global destinations
Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association is
but one tourism association that has expressed concern about the tax saying it
does not support the view that London is open for business.
urges the Mayor to stop the madness of introducing a tourism levy. Gouging
tourists does not fit with the idea that London is open for business. A
tourism levy will harm already hard-press London hospitality businesses and
discourage guests from staying overnight and reduce the amount they spend in
the wider London economy."
in the UK already pay the most tax in Europe as the World Economic Forum currently ranks the UK 140 out of
141 countries in terms of tourism tax competitiveness, with Ibrahim
saying the UK’s rate of Tourism VAT is already twice the European average.
European countries such as Paris, Berlin and Barcelona already have local
tourism taxes, they are all said to enjoy a lower rate of Tourism VAT so that
any negative impact is offset.
Africa too has been charging a tourism levy since 2012 with a 1% collected
on accommodation nationally and administered by TOMSA,
Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape says,
"Tourism generates in excess of R17 billion each year, and created
employment for around 204 000 people in the Western Cape. Last month, we
released figures which found that at a range of key attractions across the
region, nine of out ten reported record visitor numbers for the 2016 peak
arrivals grew at 29% year-on-year in December. This growth is being driven by
our decision to select tourism as a key focus sector, the efforts of the
hospitality industry, and by the significant private sector investment into
major infrastructure projects.
SEE: Cape Town’s 29.8% summer visitor spike: 4 upswing factors
set to see it continue
best way to sustain the tourism sector is to boost the number of arrivals to
our region, and we have put an action plan in place, through our Project
Khulisa growth strategy, to achieve this objective.
Western Cape provincial government says there is no way it would consider
implementing further taxes of this nature in a Tourist hot spot like Cape Town.
this, concern has also been raised about what a tax like this would mean for
companies like Airbnb which already have a competitive advantage over hotels in
In the Western Cape, both
Airbnb and Airbnb Experiences have taken off swimmingly, and Cape Town
currently has the largest number of listings in Africa.
Unlike in Germany and France,
Winde says, the platform will not be crippled in Cape Town.
SEE: Airbnb France sued, changes coming to Europe's rental
platform in 2017
“I do not believe in banning
disruption, I believe we need to grow the opportunities for everyone in a
sustainable way,” Winde says. He said that if conflict arises, there will be a
consultative process wherein all parties will help to ensure that
entrepreneurship and initiative is done practices a sustainable manner.
have regulations in place to protect consumers, but we recognise the massive
shifts in innovation as an opportunity, and the need to remove or change
regulations which no longer work for us. To not reconsider laws in the face of
change is the surest way to get left behind.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has taken the world by storm says Winde and
shutting it down would "only serve to kill jobs".
aim instead is to be a government which embraces innovation and responds
appropriately to global trends which encourage opportunities for more jobs, and
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