Precious Manomano Herald Reporter
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is focusing on domestic tourism as the authority works towards the viability and survival of the tourism sector.
ZTA Corporate Affairs Executive Mr Godfrey Koti said there is a need to market and nurture domestic tourism especially during the Covid-19 period.
The country’s tourism sector has been commented for its resilience and creativity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic where many tourists fear travelling.
“We are focusing our attention on domestic tourism right now and we are looking forward to making sure that we grow that market and nurture it. We create a culture of travelling the country and hoping that our pricing system will tally with those plans and will continue also to extend incentives that were given by the ministry of finance to make sure that we continue looking at growing the sector in whatever way we can and obviously this will catapult the growth in the sector,” he said.
The tourism sector is paying a huge price due to global and national travel restrictions meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 with recovery for sector that has suffered 25 percent hotel occupancy decline expected this year.
The statistics were availed by the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ), which also called on Government to consider a raft of measures to keep the foreign currency spinning sector afloat. Tourism is one of the key pillars with which Government seeks accelerated economic growth towards upper middle income economy by 2030 as espoused by President Mnangagwa.
Under the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy – the blueprint with which Government expects to drive tourism sector growth, Government is targeting sector growth to attain US$5 billion by 2025.
To achieve this, Government envisages a jump in tourist arrivals and receipts buoyed by the international goodwill Zimbabwe is enjoying since the advent of the New Dispensation. Plans have, however, been pegged back by the effects of Covid-19 with the Word Tourism Organisation (WTO) estimating that global tourist arrivals plummeted by 74 percent in 2020 when compared to 2019.
The country’s tourism sector is estimated to lose up to US$1,1 billion due to Covid-19 travel restrictions that have crippled the travel industry.