ZIMBABWE’S TOURISM INDUSTRY GROWTH KEY TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY
(Posted 12th February 2018)
As reported here a few days ago is a series of tourism consultative workshops underway in Zimbabwe to collect information and feedback from private sector stakeholders how to best kickstart the industry and spur growth.
Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira has among other measures proposed the formation of a National Tourism Facilitation Committee where private and public sectors come together to provide rapid decisions when bottlenecks emerge and challenges arise, essentially cutting down on red tape and fast tracking solutions.
‘The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry has proposed the establishment of a National Tourism Facilitation Committee that will ensure government deals with impediments to travel, and implements pro-tourism policies. I assure the industry that this proposal is receiving due attention and an appropriate announcement will be made as soon as possible‘ said Vice President Gen. Constantino Chiwenga before adding that ‘Tourism is undoubtedly a key sector of our national economy that has been contributing significantly to national income, foreign exchange and employment generation. Government remains convinced that tourism presents other long-term opportunities to grow the economy and improve the livelihoods of our people. Such opportunities should be vigorously pursued and exploited by players in the sector‘.
Tourism last year generated an added revenue of nearly 100 million US Dollars compared to 2016 according to information sourced from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to 917 million US Dollars, up from the previous year when 819 million US Dollars were generated by the sector. ZTA estimates the near term growth potential to reach up to 5 billion US Dollars, as long as the sector is well facilitated with growing marketing budgets and infrastructural challenges are resolved on the double.
The new government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has already given tourism and aviation higher priority, recognising the industry’s potential for job creation, foreign exchange earnings and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Sources in Harare said that it is hoped that a rapid tourism recovery will in turn generate added interest in the country for investments in other sectors as part of the country’s economic recovery programme.