Economists have welcomed the call on government by Livingstone Tourism Board (LTB) to declare Livingstone a tax free economic zone to boost tourism and economic growth.
Financial Market Analyst Maambo Hamaundu indicated to ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the idea is good and if implemented could help increase tourist arrivals in Livingstone.
He added that the move will also improve on revenue and also add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Mr. Hamaundu further said that if followed through, the sector can also contribute to job creation and collection of indirect taxes that can be beneficial to the country in various ways.
However, Mr. Hamaundu observed that despite the idea being good, the timing may not be conducive as government is trying to find ways of increasing tax collection.
Meanwhile, renowned economist Herryman Moono noted that the call has come due to a realisation of Livingstone’s potential to generate revenue from tourism by the Livingstone Tourism Board.
Mr. Moono noted that if justified, the idea would likely attract a lot of investment that would improve infrastructure for tourism in Livingstone as the state of infrastructure is currently poor.
He added that it could also be another way of increasing tourism infrastructure and also create direct incentives to enhance tourism.
Recently, Livingstone Tourism Board Chairperson Alexander Munthali urged government to consider declaring Livingstone a tax free economic zone to boost tourism and economic growth.
Mr. Munthali stated that Livingstone stands to attract investors and create employment opportunities once the area is declared a tax free economic zone through provision of tax incentives and tax holidays to potential investors.