Ministry works on US$5bn tourism economy

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Keith T Mambo
Keith T Mambohttps://www.zimetro.co.zw/
Keith T. Mambo is currently a reporter for ZiMetro News . He focuses on identity politics for The Southern Eye. He was previously a fellow at the UCT University of Cape Town for Political Science.

Ministry works on US$5bn tourism economy

Tourism is one of the critical sectors of the economy with great potential to turn around the economy, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mangaliso Ndlovu said yesterday.

Speaking at the Ministry’s strategic planning workshop in Bvumba, Minister Ndlovu said tourism was a low hanging fruit characterised by foreign currency earnings, employment creation and community empowerment.

So people must guard the sector and ensure that they continue to grow its size for the benefit of the nation at large.

“Government remains committed to play its supportive and facilitatory role to stimulate and boost the growth of the tourism sector.

“As we carry out our business, let us be mindful of the fact that we have a target to achieve, that is the US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025.

“It is my hope that, as we are emerging from the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken a closer look at the national tourism recovery and growth strategy to assess our targets, our strategies, and that we are identifying areas that need more emphasis for us to meet and possibly surpass the initial targets,” Minister Ndlovu said.

Tracking performance was critical and those in the industry needed to know where they were falling short and work with all stakeholders to institute remedial measures.

Minister Ndlovu said there was also a need for quarterly review of the performance of the strategy to ensure set targets are met, as identified.

“I am happy that the tourism sector is now on a growth trajectory due to the relaxation of Covid-19 induced travel restrictions and lockdowns, and the opening of doors for both domestic and international travel,” he said.

“Let us take advantage of this phase to work with all stakeholders to design and offer competitive products and services in order to attract more tourists to Zimbabwe. In this vein, we need to increase impetus on our programme of identifying and exposing tourism potential across the country, and at the same time meeting our stakeholders.

“During the first half of 2022, the tourism sector registered a 115 percent rise in tourist arrivals to 352 719 compared with the same period in 2021 where the international arrivals received were 164 062. The tourist receipts also increased by 121 percent in 2022 to US$337,5 million compared to US$152,8 million in 2021.”

Minister Ndlovu said domestic entries into national parks rose 90 percent from 90 909 in 2021 to 172 481 during the period January to May this year.

A 79 percent increase in new investments was also registered this year with a total of US$96,5 million recorded.

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