Tourist arrivals to reach 2,2 million by year end

Source: Tourist arrivals to reach 2,2 million by year end – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017

TOURIST arrivals in Zimbabwe are estimated to reach over 2,2 million by the close of 2017, a development in line with global trends projecting tourism to be the fastest growing economic sector internationally, an executive has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

In emailed responses to NewsDay, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke, said the local tourism industry was expected to continue growing despite numerous challenges besetting it.

“The tourism industry in Zimbabwe is expected to continue growing in line with global trends, which project that tourism will continue to be the fastest growing economic sector internationally. Arrivals in Zimbabwe are estimated to reach over 2,2 million by the close of 2017 and over 2,5 million by 2020, assuming the current conditions will continue to obtain,” he said.

“However, it should be noted that history has shown that the tourism sector tends to be affected negatively by the election
year. As such, it is our hope that prospects for 2018 will remain positive despite it being an election year.”

Zimbabwe will hold general elections next year.

Kaseke said although the tourism sector has faced a number of challenges in recent years, the sector has been resilient.

For instance, in 2016, the country received 2 167 686 tourist arrivals, 5% up from 2 056 588 received in 2015, he said.

He said the sector also generated an estimated $819 million in revenue in 2016 and is estimated to contribute 10,9% to the gross domestic product.

Kaseke lamented that numerous police check points and roadblocks have for a long time tarnished the country’s image, as they project a negative security situation.

“These roadblocks have also resulted in highly prejudicing and inconveniencing the tourists. These have also been raised under Ease of Doing Business reform initiatives in tourism,” he said.

Kaseke said Zimbabwe was largely a driving destination and, as such, good roads were necessary. Apart from the Plumtree-Mutare Highway, Kaseke said other roads — particularly Beitbridge-Harare — need to be rebuilt.

“Because of the bad state of this road, Zimbabwe lost a huge market of self-drive tourists from South Africa who are now preferring Botswana and Namibia. The high levels of carnage on our roads now termed “death traps” inhibit travel by both domestic and international tourists,” he said.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    MPN 3 months

    Dreams again — Discount border hoppers – they are not tourists – look at the real picture – Not who is coming through border gates but hotel occupancy – 100,000 Chinese bused in are there to fudge the figures and contribute sfa to tourism revenue being bankrolled by the Govt to claim the hotels are full – pull the other one – I have been to these places – they are empty other than Govt delegations – the staff tell so – The true figure is closer to a pittance – Where is this grandiose Us $ – on the bank balances – No one in their right mind would go there – over priced – better off in Zambia, Bots, SA etc

  • comment-avatar

    Kaseke is a habitual liar and bulls…t artist. The current 2 million odd ‘tourists’ coming to this bankrupt land are thousands of informal traders from Zambia, DRC, Tanzania and Malawi who ‘enter’ Zim twice on their journey from and to RSA. This country is currently way way toooooo expensive for the average tourist and also the self drive ourists are not put off by the ‘bad’ roads that we have, they are put off by the bad behavior of the ZRP at the numerous roadblocks that are synonymous with our police state. Wake up, Kaseke, and smell the coffee.

  • comment-avatar
    Ian Mumford 3 months

    Probably 90% of these “tourists” are displaced Zimbabweans visiting their relatives.