CAAZ introduced the Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund (AIDEF) last month to raise money from travellers for infrastructure development and equipment modernisation.
Under the proposed levy, which was supposed to be introduced on May 1 Zimbabwe’s domestic and international air travellers would pay an extra US$10 and US$30 in levies respectively.
Diplomats, direct transit passengers and children under two were exempted from the tax.
The money raised would have been used to upgrade the country’s airports.
Treasury has inadequate funds to channel towards the upgrading of airports and the introduction of the levy was meant to plug that gap.
In a notice yesterday, Caaz said that “due to unforeseen logistical and administrative challenges, the implementation of the Aidef levy has been postponed.
“Passengers who have been charged the levy in May 2011 should approach the relevant airline, travel agent or airport authority for a refund,” Caaz CEO David Chawota said.
“Airlines and travel agents who have collected Aidef levies should not remit the funds to Caaz but refund the passengers.”
He said the authority would inform stakeholders of the implementation date in due course.
The introduction of the AIDEF levy had been condemned by operators in the tourism industry who said it was an extra burden on passengers and that Caaz had not consulted stakeholders.
Victoria Falls based tourism operator, Shearwater expressed concern over the sudden turn of events saying Caaz should come clean on its intentions.
“We need administrations that are predictable and facilitate the growth of the tourism industry,” said Shearwater public relations manager, Clement Mukwasi.
“If the fee is to be introduced, it will certainly make Zimbabwe an expensive tourism destination.
“We need them to advise us as to when exactly they will introduce the fee so that we can plan and adjust our prices accordingly,” he said, adding that the tourism sector in Victoria Falls may suffer a huge blow if the move were to pass.
The country’s tourism industry is on a revival attributed to stability on the political front since the formation of an inclusive government in 2009.
A number of countries lifted the travel warnings that they had placed on Zimbabwe as political and economic stability was restored.
The tourism sector is expected to make a substantial contribution towards the 9, 3% economic growth rate expected this year.