Tanzania Wants To Raise Money From Tourism By Registering Airbnb Operators

By January 24, 2019

In a bid to raise more funds from tourism in Tanzania, the East African country’s government has announced a 50-day ultimatum to short-stay accommodation operators in the nation.

According to reports, the government is expected to go from house to house soon to register US-based rental service Airbnb operators in the country.

The Minister of Tourism Assistant director for licensing and control briefed as per the situation, revealing that the many individuals running these facilities need to be officially recognized by the government. While there is the imploring for these operators to pay their fees, the Tanzanian government has said that failure to comply within the 50 days ultimatum will result in arrest.

With operations in more than 80 cities in 191 countries, Airbnb is a global company that prides itself at the echelon of hospitality services in the online market. The decade-old company is currently worth USD 2.6 Bn, which it has amassed from allowing residents temporarily rent out apartments and utilities to visitors and tourists.

Tourism in Tanzania has recently garnered a premium, becoming the country’s fastest-growing sector, which was valued at USD 2.7 Bn in 2017 – 25 percent of Tanzania’s total Forex earnings. The government is looking to capitalize on this flourishing sector and gain more revenue from giving license fees to Airbnb operators who have been operating under the country’s radar.

A 2017 report showed that there have been 2 million Airbnb arrivals in Africa since 2008, with half of that venturing into the continent in 2016 and 2017. Countries in the busy reception for these migrations are South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, and Tanzania.

With a track record for “over-regulating” online business and marketplaces, it is no surprise that the Tanzanian government is once again using seemingly punitive measures to generate revenue. April 2018, the government approved a law which mandated bloggers to pay USD 900 to obtain blog license, and another USD 900 to renew their registration annually. Given the average Tanzanian’s below-USD 900 earning, the law seems to put to pain to freedom of the press and a disgruntling move for some.  

According to a WeeTracker research, Airbnb has made known their plans to expand in Africa, which is a move that could prompt many other governments to make more money from the venture. As Airbnb regulations vary from country to country, it seems the founding trio of Brian Pesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk will have many rules to play by if they are truly looking to master the ABCs of Africa.

Featured Image: AFKTravel 

Editor’s Desk: From the fall of East Africa’s beloved NAKUMATT to the rise of the pseudo Japanese brand MINISO. Check out the must read journeys of 2 giant retail chains in Africa!

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