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Zim’s airports record 12 percent increase in passengers

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Zim’s airports record 12 percent increase in passengers

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

ZIMBABWE is benefiting from governments’ airports expansion drive after recording a 12 percent increase in the number of passengers who travelled by air at the end of last year.

Latest information contained in the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) report, shows that the country’s airports recorded over 580 000 passengers in the third quarter of last year from 522 000.

The growth in the number of passengers has also contributed to more opportunities for the tourism sector, with an anticipated rise in the number of foreign visitors this year.

“It is an indication of a rebound in confidence in as far as measures being put in place by the government are concerned. Basically, the statistics also indicate that the modernisation drive for airports is on course, but of greater importance is the impact of the huge passenger volumes that it also brings in as much as the hotel sector value chains are concerned. Going forward, it becomes imperative for the country to further broaden the scope of business in as far as tapping positive effects of the airports modernisation drive is concerned and how it positively affects the tourism sector value chains whose business volumes are anchored on increased tourist arrivals,” said Villa Gianni Boutique Hotel office manager, Joseph Sibanda.

Although ZIMSTAT reveals that international airports registered a marginal decline in the number of flights during the fourth quarter, government and the private sector have been called on to work towards further marketing the country as a safe and viable investment and tourism portfolio.

“The potential is there and what is needed is that ability to focus on continuous review of policies aimed at increasing confidence in the airline sector. Government has done its best in as far as measures to modernise the airports are concerned, so basically what is needed is that platform for both parties to work together by identifying challenges including workable solutions premised on placing the country as a viable business portfolio for the foreign visitors, so it is an issue of concerted efforts in boosting trade and investment promotion strategies,” explained Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking chief executive officer, Dr Tinashe Muzamhindo.

Government has unveiled an airport modernisation roadmap in line with global standards as the nation targets achieving an upper middle income society by 2030.