Short-stay accommodation operators in Tanzania told to register or face arrest

Tanzania: The Tanzanian government has told short-term rental accommodation operators to register their facilities in the next 50 days or face arrest, in a move affecting Airbnb users.

Tourism is considered to be one of the greatest sources of hard currency income for the East African country, which was the fifth-biggest African market for Airbnb in terms of total guest arrivals in the year ending in September 2017, according to the firm’s website.

Assistant director of licensing and control in the ministry of tourism, Rosada Musoma said: “There are many individuals who are operating these facilities. We want them to be recognised officially by the government and pay required license fees.”

She said that once the 50-day period expires, the government will go from ‘house to house’ in order to arrest operators who fail to register in time.

Executive secretary of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators, Siriri Akko, said the government’s decision would create fairness in business and prevent tourists from getting into difficulties.

Akko said: “Even if they (accommodation operators) receive a low number of tourists, they should pay taxes and license fees like others because their business is growing fast as tourists now want to experience life outside hotels.”