Tourism among fastest-growing Zim sectors as arrivals surge 42pc

Zimbabwe’s tourism receipts bulked by 24 percent to US$272,26 million in the period to September 2023 from US$219,45 million achieved during the previous quarter of the same year, largely on the back of improved tourist arrivals.

Although latest figures covering September last year to January this year are yet to be released, reports say volumes of tourist arrivals are likely to spike as hotels and other facilities in most major tourist destinations were fully booked during the festive season.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) quarterly economic review for the quarter to September 2023, tourist arrivals increased by 41,9 percent to 494 878, compared to 348 559 recorded in the comparable period in 2022.

“The increase in tourist arrivals was attributed to the ongoing recovery in global tourism, improved transportation infrastructure and marketing and promotion initiatives by the players in the tourism industry,” the RBZ revealed.

President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra and that the country is a friend to all and an enemy to non, is also reported to have partly attributed to the spiking volumes of visitors charmed by the leader of the Second Republic.

According to the central bank, arrivals from major source markets registered growth for the third quarter of 2023 in comparison to the second quarter of 2022.

Arrivals from Africa grew to 344,496 in the quarter under review from 233 825, Europe grew to 66 482 from 38 958, and America grew to 41 569 compared to 23 334.

The RBZ report shows that arrivals from Asia, Oceania and the Middle East were 29 910 and 3 232 respectively.

“Performance in the tourism sector was positive during the third quarter of 2023 as the sector continues to record remarkable growth on account of improved accessibility, heightened marketing efforts and rising international interest.

“Further, the increase in investments in the tourism industry since the beginning of the year saw significant improvement in the operations of the industry,” reads the report.

The RBZ said the positive trend in tourism receipts reflects effective marketing strategies and the improved appeal of Zimbabwe’s cultural and natural attractions.

The tourism industry was the most affected during the peak period of the Covod-19 pandemic as governments worldwide instituted travel restrictions by shutting down international airports and other borders.

In Zimbabwe, the tourism sector is considered one of the economic mainstays and is expected to drive the country’s economic turnaround.

The Government says it has made significant progress on the implementation of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy, which seeks to grow the tourism economy to US$5 billion by 2025.

In August 2020, President Mnangagwa launched the tourism growth plan as he led the re-start of the sector’s contribution to the national economy after having been heavily crippled by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy is anchored on Zimbabwe’s vision to be a prime international tourist destination based on the judicious and sustainable exploitation of the unique assets of nature, culture, heritage and the built environment.

The strategy is informed by the Government’s Vision 2030 to become an upper-middle-income economy characterised by increased investment, decent jobs, and a populace free from poverty and corruption.

The Government is leaving no stone unturned in its endeavours to reposition Zimbabwe as a major tourist destination in the region and numerous efforts have been implemented, including the rehabilitation of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to world class standards and also the Victoria Falls International Airport that is now playing host to several world-acclaimed international airlines.

Herald

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