President Lukashenko's visit set to boost tourism

Staff Reporter

 The recent visit by Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko is expected to boost the country’s tourism sector, especially in this post Covid 19 era.

President Lukashenko was in the country from 30 January to 1 February and he got a chance to visit Victoria Falls in the company of President Mnangagwa.

The Belarus President toured the famous Rain Forest and got an opportunity to interact with lions, cheetahs and elephants in Victoria Falls.

Speaking to this publication, a source from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said that the visit by President Lukashenko was a step in the right direction in boosting the tourism industry in the country

"The visit of President Lukashenko to Zimbabwe and his eventual tour of Victoria Falls is going to market the place as the number one tourist destination in the world and would also help attract new tourists from Eastern Europe. The country witnessed a decline in tourist arrivals from 2,294,259 in 2019 to 630,369 in 2020. The negative trend further continued in 2021 as arrivals suffered a further downfall of 40 percent to 375, 799,” said the source.

The same source added that President Lukashenko’s visit would help ensure that coverage of Zimbabwe on news and social media channels across Africa and Europe will reach peak levels over the next weeks. He said that the tourism sector has hope that President Lukashenko’s tour of Victoria Falls would ensure that many people see just what a special and beautiful place Zimbabwe is and will consider visiting in future.

Meanwhile, in 2020 President Mnangagwa launched the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy which came up with strategies that are aimed at lifting the tourism sector from the current decline, into a US$ 5 billion tourism economy by the year 2025.

The strategy seeks to, among other things; provide access to entrepreneurs within the sector, provide capital to affected tourism businesses, including small businesses within the tourism value chain, in a bid to save and secure jobs and to re-establish lost contact with the local, regional and international tourism source markets.