Peace dividend boosts tourism sector

Peace dividend boosts tourism sector
Published: 16 July 2018
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says the peaceful environment prevailing in Zimbabwe should continue beyond the election period to consolidate the positive trajectory being experienced in the tourism industry.

ZTA chief operating officer Mr Givemore Chidzidzi said tourism indicators were pointing to a good season this year since the coming in of the new political dispensation.

Mr Chidzidzi was speaking during a recent visit here where he noted the significance of sport tourism as one of the major drivers of the industry.

The tourism sector is one of the major economic drivers across the globe.

Mr Chidzidzi said hotel occupancy was hovering around 80 percent since May this year and it shot to 100 percent during the past few weeks.

He said the recent Victoria Falls Econet marathon event had added a huge impetus to the growth of tourism.

"The tourism industry is performing very well. Indicators in Victoria Falls point to a good season. We have started seeing occupancies increasing to 80 percent and above in May," he said.

"Right now we are talking about 90 percent and above and so tourism is actually looking good and the numbers coming into the country are on the increase."

Mr Chidzidzi said the figures include domestic tourism, which is also on the increase.

"We want to encourage Zimbabweans to continue in the manner they have been conducting themselves.

If our elections are peaceful and their credibility is accepted overally in the world, obviously we will not look back as far as growth of our tourism is concerned," said Mr Chidzidzi.

He commended Zimbabweans for embracing the domestic tourism concept after hundreds visited Victoria Falls for the marathon.

There were 4 100 runners at the event and hundreds of spectators both local and international.

Some corporates also transported a large number of their workers to either participate or cheer up their teams especially following the introduction of a new event, the Steward Bank relay team this year.

Mr Chidzidzi said sport tourism was a key driver of the industry as evidenced by the huge influx of fans to the ongoing World Cup in Russia.

He said this translates into receipts as local and international visitors spend on activities, night life, food and souvenirs.

In Victoria Falls during the marathon, accommodation facilities were fully booked while activities were also oversubscribed.

Victoria Falls Mayor Councillor Sifiso Mpofu commended ZTA for facilitating several international events that attract tourists.

He said Victoria Falls will always provide a hospitable environment in its thrust and vision to be a competitive tourism destination.
- chronicle
Tags: Peace,


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