Local tourism players have expressed concern over the new covid-19 variant and lockdowns in major European source markets saying it might hinder prospects of marginal rebound of the industry this year.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Victoria Falls Chairperson, Mr Anald Musonza who is optimistic about the prospects of tourism industry this year believes the new covid-19 strain presents new challenges for the sector.
“The industry is distressed and obviously as an industry we had come up with up with survival strategies, one of which was to focus on domestic tourism. Now with this new variant it is taking us backwards because all our source markets have been forced to go back into lockdowns and locally we have also gone into lockdown,” he said.
Regarded as one of the safest tourism destinations, Victoria Falls has strengthened its covid-19 response mechanism following the recent surge in local transmissions.
“Because of the lockdown rules and the new covid-19 variant the Victoria Falls community is being urged to remain home and steadfast. Travel should only be made when necessary and to those tourist facilities which are open we urge them to continue observing the safety and health guidelines,” said Clement Mukwasi, Shearwater Adventures Public Relations Manager.
Most tourism facilities in the resort city, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site and hotels have remained open but with subdued business.
The country’s major tourist source markets which include the United Kingdom continue to strengthen restrictions in the face of the highly contagious mutations of Covid-19 in a development that has dampened expectations of a rebound of the tourism sector.