Zimbabwe is set to get an increase of airport taxes as of January 2017. The increase of airport taxes is meant to fund the development of aviation related infrastructure as the government seeks to find means to fund this development.
“Due to budget constraints, my ministry is pursuing alternating and innovative funding modalities to ensure that our plans come to reality. It is in this context that I appeal to air transport travellers to expect a very modest increase on the airport departure tax starting January 1, 2017 that is very good indeed; we need the fund to keep up this momentum,” said Dr Joram Gumbo, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
According to the Chronicle, the currently passenger service charge is pegged at $10 for domestic departure and $35 for international departure passengers. Another charge, the Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund (AIDEF) is pegged at $5 for domestic departure and $15 for international departure. In total domestic passengers pay $15 while international travellers are parting with $50.
With the recent upgrading and commissioning of the Victoria Falls Airport, an increase in tourists and business investors was expected. However, a further increase of airport taxes, which many consider to be already high, could deter tourists and business people from coming into Zimbabwe. The country is already viewed as a high cost country in terms of business and tourism and an increase of airport taxes could have a further negative effect in that respect. The ministry might have to find a way to strike a balance between promoting the inflow of tourists and business people and raising the funds necessary for the development of aviation infrastructure.