BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
HOSPITALITY giant African Sun Limited (ASL) has pledged to collaborate with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) to strengthen the tourism sector after it was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASL chief executive Peter Saungweme said this on Tuesday soon after meeting with ZTA acting chief executive Givemore Chidzidzi to discuss the recovery of the sector.
“I am looking forward to African Sun Limited’s contribution to the recovery and growth of the tourism sector. We will work together with the ZTA to ensure that tourism scales greater heights,” Saungweme said.
Chidzidzi said tourism operators such as ASL were critical to achieving government’s objective of a
$5 billion tourism economy.
“This is heavily anchored on lucrative and mutually beneficial public-private partnerships,” he said.
Tourism has been identified as a critical pillar of economic development in the National Development Strategy 1, as well as towards attainment of vision 2030.
COVID-19 lockdowns and the ban on inter-city travel and conferencing, as well as international travel restrictions affected the country’s tourism sector, with an estimated total loss pegged at US$1 billion.
In an unrelated matter, ZTA spokesperson Godrey Koti said the recently appointed Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy minister Barbara Rwodzi’s approval of domestic tourism under the ZimBho campaign would be a critical pillar in ensuring that the sector recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic tourism has been viewed as the lifeblood of the sector since the outbreak of the COVID-19 scourge.