By Tichaona Kurewa
Tourism players are anticipating increased business during this year’s Easter Holidays as compared to last year, with hotel occupancy now at 50 percent.
There was limited travel during the last year’s Easter Holiday with COVID-19 travel restrictions resulting in subdued hotel occupancy levels.
With COVID-19 restrictions having been lifted, hopes are high that the story line will be different this year.
Anald Musonza, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North representative said: “Obviously, with the reopening of the border, we also foresee quite a lot of self-drive traffic coming in, across the country. We can see that the occupancies are ranging within the 50 percent compared to the prior year during the same period; we hope that the occupancies continue to grow and we can actually be proud as destination Zimbabwe we in the bucket list of most people.”
He added: “This year, we are seeing a significant pick in our hotel occupancy levels from the international and the regionals. In Victoria Falls, we have started seeing group series coming back, which is a very significant progress. The year 2022 is promising to be a busy one compared to last year, during Easter Holiday. We still had lockdown and this year we have had a relaxation of most of our COVID-19 protocols in terms of restrictions like quarantine and that entire limited people from accessing our country.”
“The Easter Holiday is busy for Victoria Falls. We have a lot of people coming from within our country and we have a lot of domestic tourists coming through. We also have a lot of international tourists who have booked our activities. We are hoping to have a very busy Easter Holiday coming. We have figures that are way beyond what we had in 2021. This could be our real Easter Holiday after the 2019 one,” noted Clement Mukwasi, a tour operator.
The travel and tourism sector contributed 4.1 percent to Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product in 2020, translating to more than US$620 million.