FEEDBACK FROM GOVERNMENT WITH REGARDS TO CLOSING OF BUSINESSES & LABOR ISSUES.
As shared in our last update of the request to Government for fiscal measures and directions for the tourism industry in light of the Covid-19 Virus. We had been waiting for a paper to be presented to parliament for deliberation by 10th April, 2020. The paper was to provide government with the correct figures with regards to the economic impact of the virus on business. So far that paper has been completed and presented to the Rescue plan Committee in Zanzibar and also the National Committee in the mainland for deliberation before it is made public. This paper will be used by the government to borrow funds and to make the necessary economic decisions to stabilise the economy due to the impact of the Virus. So far the government has initiated dialogue with all stakeholders from all sectors to begin talks on how we may move forward.
On 29th April, 2020 Representatives from ZATI, ZATO and the Zanzibar Chamber of Commerce met with a variety of government officials from Trade, Labour, Agriculture and Fisheries to discuss business recovery strategies and to form a recovery committee. Unfortunately representatives from the Zanzibar commission for tourism and the Ministry of finance were unavailable.
Many issues were discussed and a follow-up meeting will be held next week, this will give the opportunity to get answers for the many questions asked to the government through letters, in particular marketing strategies, labour issues and fiscal amelioration for the tourism and other industries.
Secondly we understand that a number of businesses have closed and others are closing due to the virus. Due to this we have received several requests with regards to taxes and employees during this period. On the issue of taxes the government is aware of the economic impact of the virus which in turn means less income and taxes filed. The Zanzibar Revenue Authority has issued a notice to businesses that are closing to notify ZRB of the same and it has further urged businesses to continue filing their returns in order for the government to have consistent tax records. The same applies to the Tanzania Revenue Authority. We further urge our members who have individual cases to make their case in writing to the relevant government officials for further directions.
Over the last couple of days ZATI has had discussions with the Labour Commission through Zanema (Employers Association of Zanzibar) on the issue of employee and employer rights in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The commissioner does acknowledge the situation and has thus advised investors especially those in the tourism industry to follow the following procedures;
1. Consult with your regional Labour Office on your agreements with your employees during this period. The agreements must be sent to the Labour Commissioner’s office along with a list of employees affected.
2. Seek clarification, advice direction from the Labour Commission through the contact below. .
3. If your circumstances only allow you to send your stuff on leave without pay you must apply in writing and get a written approval from the Labour Commission. Your application must be accompanied by payroll. Further extensions must be applied for on a monthly basis.
4. The above procedures must be followed until the Government issues other directives.
Labour Commission Contacts
email@example.com. Mr. Khamis is an assistant Labour commissioner.
khadijaabdallah82@@yahoo.com. Mrs Khadija is a lawyer of the Commissioner.
Lastly find attached below some data on the current and long term Impact of the Virus on Tourism around the world. This Data may prove useful for long term planning & strategy.
Meeting between Government officials & stakeholders to discuss business recovery strategy On 29th April, 2020.
ZRB Notice to businesses closing due to Covid-19
Reminder from Ministry of Home Affairs Tanzania on the Issue of Visas & Permits
UPDATE ON CORONA VIRUS
This past week has seen a number of new cases being comfirmed both on the island and in the mainland. So far there has been 87 new confirmed cases and 16 of these cases were reported by The Ministry of Health of Zanzibar.
On the 18th of April, the Ministry of Health of Zanzibar released a letter stating the discovery of 23 additional confirmed cases taking the total number of cases in the whole of Tanzania to 257 as the letter dated 2th April, 2020. The total number of cases per district in Tanzania mainland is as stated on the letter below. To follow information released by the Ministry of Health of Zanzibar you may like their Facebook page which we have shared a button link below. Also find below update on the Virus in Zanzibar as of 24th April, 2020. On 28th April, 2020 7 new cases were reported and 36 people recovered and were allowed to go home. Now the total cases are 105 from 98 that were reported on 24 April, 2020.
Corona Virus Update for Zanzibar-24th April, 2020
Corona Virus Update for the Whole of Tanzania as of 20th April, 2020
Corporate Social Responsibility
Be a leader in combating the corona virus
ZATO our associate partner organization in the tourism industry has established a fund raising committee to raise money from mainly their members and other willing and able busineses.
The funds are to be used in the spirit of corporate social responsibility to assist the community in these dire times. ZATI strongly believes this effort should be supported by our members and non member hotels. The funds will be used to purchase materials to be used in the fight against the COVID-19 Virus. To this end we appeal if you wish and are able to contribute please send money however small in the following manner:
Zanzibar Association of Tour operators - ZATO
Bank Name: PBZ
At the Exchange rate of $1 = 2,300Tzs.
When sending kindly state your name if individual, hotel or business name.
In addition to the above, our member Ozti is making face masks the proceed of which will be donated to help the community protect itself from the virus. If you or a neighbour are in need of these and wish to help the community find relevant information in the image below.
Zanzibar Marketing Initiative Post Covid-19
In these difficult times, many of us are looking forward to the industry getting back on its feet. One of our members (Che Che Vule / Fumba) has put an idea to us, and we would like to see how many in our sector would be interested
The idea so far:
We agree on a special offer from ZANZIBAR as a destination. We will need about 100 hotels to agree to participate in this initiative. We would to thank all health workers in our traditional market around the world for their efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 situation.
The offer :
- Zanzibar hotels are all offering 5 nights B+B free of charge to any who can give proof of having worked on the front-line in fighting the pandemic.
- Each hotel can if they wish charge the Government VAT or Hotel Levy Taxes which we will pass on to ZRB).
- Each hotel can decide how many rooms to offer.
- All quality ranges of hotels should be included.
- We provide a time-period of the offer for instance two months.
- It is expected ZATO & ZATOGA will also participate in offering free service.
The Marketing Activity:
- We set up a web page with the hotels participating - listed alphabetically, with reservation email address, and website links.
- We use DESTINATION ZANZIBAR tagline.
- ZCT in collaboration with Tourism stakeholders prepare a short video (e.g “Zanzibar re-opens its doors). In this video we need to have ZCT Logo and other stake holder’s logo such as ZATI / ZATO / ZATOGA.
- We write a press release, attaching the video, and link the web page to it.
- We wait till the time is right - as soon as the virus is clear globally, and flights resume.
- We check the press release to make sure dates etc are all valid and agreed. We can change it if the situation has changed.
- The press release goes out widely - ZANZIBAR THANKS YOU! We hit global newswires with it.
- We request Government assistance due to competition in the market. For example they could suspend visa fees. Reduce Landing fees and waive VAT on aviation fuel to reduce cost of air travel or any other assistance.
- We may also take this opportunity to propose what we think the Government can do to support this effort. For example they could suspend visa fees. Reduce Landing fees and waive VAT on aviation fuel to reduce cost of air travel in order to keep prices competitive.
The expected results in sales;
People who are applicable will email the reservations for hotels directly.
- The hotels will check their healthcare credentials, discuss their dates, explain the tax payment.
- If you get enquiries you don't need, you can simply say that your quota is filled, and still offer discounts if you wish. If you need business, you can accept as many bookings as you can get.
- If others apply who are not in healthcare, you can decide what to do. It's a new contact.
- The guests make their own way here, hotels just arrange transfers and activities.
- Food & Beverages can be at discounts or not - at each hotel's discretion.
- Guests pay normal rates for any other activities and excursions unless you arrange otherwise.
The wider benefit:
- It gives us good international marketing exposure, and will help to kick-start the season.
- Also shows that we are supporting the Government by continuing to pay taxes.
- Each hotel is in control of how much they want to make use of the opportunity.
- It will bring in new business to the island and raise the destination profile.
- The Minister of Tourism has expressed approval of the idea.
Please reply directly back to Edwin who will be answering questions and co-coordinating the final offer and marketing.
firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp +255 777 876298
Best wishes & Ramadhan Kareem.