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New tourism accounting system launched

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The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) have introduced the Tourism Receipts Accounting System (TRAS) in a bid to improve accounting for tourism earnings.

The measures took effect on August 1.
TRAS is a web-based application for recording tourism data and enables non-consumptive tourism operators to submit monthly returns to the RBZ, through banks.

In a joint statement yesterday, RBZ governor Gideon Gono and ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said tourism operators in the non-consumptive subsector, including hotels, entertainment, tours and services had been facing challenges in complying with the statutory requirement to submit monthly returns to the central bank.

“The new Tourism Receipts Accounting System will effectively improve the accounting of tourism earnings from both resident and non-resident tourists and measure the contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy,” reads part of the statement.

“The enhanced recording system will also address information needs for the government, academia and industry, as well as support data requirements for the Tourism Satellite Account.”

Official figures showed that tourism receipts in 2011 amounted to $662 million, up from $634 million in 2010.

In 2012, receipts are expected to increase by 11,2%, reaching $736 million, with the bulk coming from high spenders of European and American markets.

According to the statement, the RBZ was working with relevant authorities to effect the necessary legislative amendments.

The new TRAS system links non-consumptive tourism operators with ZTA and authorised dealers.
“The exchange of economic data and information is real time, online and hassle free.

“The new form is a transformation of the current TR1 form into an effective, robust, efficient, all-encompassing, adaptive, convenient and user-friendly system,” said the statement.

Between this month and December tourism operators and authorised dealers would be undergoing training and registration on the new system.

According to the 2012 first quarter figures from ZTA, tourist arrivals rose to 346 299, up from 294 198 recorded in the same period in 2011.

Given the country’s vast natural advantages, the government believes there is potential to improve tourism arrivals and receipts proportionate to global arrivals and receipts of one billion tourists and $1,3 trillion, respectively.

This year the tourism sector is projected to grow by 10,4% up from 4% last year.

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