Implementation of Tourism Strategy in full swing

Staff Reporter

Cabinet has noted progress on the implementation of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy (NTRGS), this was stated during the 6th Cabinet brief yesterday.

Presenting in the Cabinet brief, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said, “Implementation of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy, which seeks to grow the Tourism Economy to US$5 Billion by 2025, is in full swing following its launch by His Excellency, the President in August 2020.The tourism industry was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, mainly from lockdowns, red listing and travel bans, resulting in the loss of 9000 jobs as well as closure of 37 facilities. Notwithstanding this, notable progress and developments have been recorded to date.”

Minister Mutsvangwa mentioned some of the developments namely Domestic Tourism, Tourism Investment Promotion, Accessibility of Tourism Products, Tourism Marketing and Promotion Efforts, Wide Scale Rollout of the Service Excellence Programme and Tourism Support Facilities.

On Domestic Tourism, Minister Mutsvangwa said the launch of the ZimBho campaign in 2020 helped to improve domestic tourism, and increased domestic entries into National Parks to 251 088 in 2021 compared to 173 714 in 2020.

The Minister said that tourism investments increased from US$86 million in 2020 to US$142 million in 2021.

Minister Mutsvangwa mentioned a number of major renovations and refurbishments which were carried out at the Victoria Falls Rainbow, the Cresta Group of Hotels, and the Victoria Falls Hotel in a bid to boost tourism.

She said that Zimparks also launched new tourism products to diversify attractions in the national parks.

Minister Mutsvangwa stated that a total of US$133.2 million was invested in Public-Private Partnership tourism-related construction projects between 2021 and 2022 involving the Forestry Commission and the Bulawayo Kraal which is being constructed.

Meanwhile, cabinet resolved that the Statutory Instrument on Duty rebates be amended to give Zimbabwe Tourism Authority the exclusive mandate to recommend applicants to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for duty processing.

It further resolved that the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry work closely with that of Finance and Economic Development to come up with an effective financing plan that can complement the recovery of the Tourism Sector.