Tourism business to surge during holiday

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi

Tourism is expected to experience a surge in business as demand for accommodation and visitor activities rises during the upcoming holiday, a tourism outlook report for the festive season has noted.

This comes as the significance of the domestic market is seen as the primary driver of tourism business across resort regions of the country, with resort hotels demonstrating favourable pre-festive season booking performance, aligning well with the escalating demand for accommodation leading up to the holiday season.

City hotels are less critical in the domestic tourism business.

As the peak of the festive season approaches, that is from December 23 to 31, the report notes that most resort accommodation facilities are expected to register close to 100 percent with available visitor attractions expected to record breaking levels in terms of visitations.

“Overall, the pre-festive season bookings in 2023 align with the prevailing positive trend, indicating a higher influx of tourism in resort regions compared to urban areas and other hotel-centric locations,” reads part of the report.

“While the industry anticipates the ongoing global recovery in tourism, it remains crucial to maintain a steadfast focus on nurturing and developing the domestic tourism market as it remains the backbone of successful tourism destinations worldwide.”

The Victoria Falls region, according to the report, has notably emerged as the frontrunner with average pre-festive season bookings of 52 percent followed by Kariba and Chiredzi with 43 percent each and Hwange with 37 percent and Nyanga with 32 percent.

“Victoria Falls has to date recorded the highest pre-festive season bookings of 52 percent. However, several hotels around Victoria Falls are expected to achieve booking levels ranging from 50 percent to 100 percent during the peak of the festive season,” the report noted.

Kariba secured the second-highest pre-festive season resort bookings indicating a renewed interest driven by an expanding tourism product base, particularly adventure offerings.

Furthermore, the international tourism sector in the Kariba region demonstrated signs of recovery, with foreign clientele constituting 47 percent, while local clientele accounted for the remaining 53 percent.

Pre-festive season bookings for hotels in other regions have shown promising results, particularly in Chiredzi with 43 percent, Hwange 37 percent, Beitbridge 10 percent.

All regions, the report notes, are expected to register a decline in bookings after Christmas Day, as the holiday moves into the New Year.

Herald

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