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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Tourism recovery figures set to match pre-Covid-19 levels

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

ZIMBABWE’S Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy is paying off in the wake of revelations that business will match pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of the year.

Zimbabwe’s tourism industry was the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the government is making efforts to revive the sector through various policy interventions and incentives.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) this Tuesday confirmed that the measures were a masterstroke, as the authority registered impressive figures last year.

“We have witnessed an increase in tourists at our various facilities around the country since COVID-19. If you look at nearly one million tourists who visited our parks in 2019 and the 600 that visited last year you see that in 2019 about 60 to 70 percent were foreigners but now things have changed. Last year those who visited our parks more than four hundred were locals and the balance were foreign tourists. We continue to encourage people to visit Zimbabwe so that we continue to build our country,” noted Zimparks Spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo.

Players in the sector are also grateful to the government for improving the infrastructure that drives tourism activities.

“We thank the government for intervening in rehabilitating the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road, the road is key as it links Bulawayo-Hwange and Victoria Falls which are some of the most visited facilities in Zimbabwe,” said one of the tourism players who spoke to ZBC News.

“The road is key for self-drive tourists especially the domestic and those coming from something. Certainly, the improvement of this road will increase tourism activities in Hwange, Victoria Falls and surrounding areas,” said another.

Zimbabwe is targeting a five billion tourism economy by 2025 and experts contend that the Tourism Recovery Plan alongside the government’s engagement and re-engagement drive as well as the participation of Zimbabwean tourism players at various international conferences will propel the industry to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

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