President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday officially commissioned tourism facilities in Victoria Falls which include Palm River Hotel with a 73 room capacity, Zambezi Boutique boasting suits and Nkosi Lodge with 24 rooms.
Speaking during the commissioning of the facilities, the President said that the entry of the tourist’s accommodation facilities is a welcome development which is set to increase the competiveness of the tourism sector as well as the range of tourism products offered in Zimbabwe.
“Today`s event, read together with the launch of the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange is a clear testimony that the Second Republic has ushered in a new era of unprecedented economic growth and that Zimbabwe is indeed a safe investment destination,” said the President.
The President highlighted that the Second Republic recognizes tourism as one of the key pillars of the country`s economy, alongside agriculture, manufacturing and mining. He further said tourism is an essential vehicle for economic growth and development, as well as a key contributor to the country`s foreign currency earnings.
“Tourism provides an effective tool for broad based empowerment and job creation towards lifting many into prosperity, through linkages with upstream sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, fisheries, the creative cultural industries, media and film among others,” he said.
The President commended the tourism sector for its continued focus towards the realization of the outcomes outlined in the National Development Strategy 1 and in particular the USD 5 billion Tourism Sector Economy by 2025. He added that he was pleased that players in the tourism sector continue to demonstrate unwavering confidence in the future of the country by initiating and successfully completing new investment projects, a development which he said will go a long way in accelerating the recovery of the sector.
“The target of a US$5 billion Tourism Economy by 2025 strategy is achievable as evidenced by the tourism investments, we continue to witness. These will undoubtedly provide a competitive, market driven and diversified product range, which is cognisant of the need to guarantee environmental and cultural conservation,” added the President
President Mnangagwa revealed that the Government is supporting the use of clean renewable energy sources through various fiscal support measures such as the exemption from duty of solar energy related equipment, among others. On that note he commended Nkosi Guest Lodge investors for adopting renewable energy as their main source of power.
The President challenged the tourism sector in general to develop new products and attract more investments leveraging on the opening up of new tourism resorts in areas around the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Tugwi-Mukosi Dam and the emerging Binga, Bumi Hills and Kanyemba tourism corridor, among others throughout the country`s provinces.