Tour operators embrace ZiG currency

Source: Tour operators embrace ZiG currency | Sunday News (Business)

Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter

THE introduction of the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) has sparked a wave of optimism among tour operators who have already embraced it by adjusting their pricing models as they expect it to spur on domestic tourism.

The tourism industry has been predominately anchored on the multi-currency system with a huge bias on the United States dollar.

In an interview with Sunday News on Thursday, tour operators expressed confidence in the ZiG, saying the stability of the currency will enhance domestic tourism as local tourists can budget and plan without fear of inflation. 

Tourism Executive and Shearwater public relations manager, Mr Clement Mukwasi said the tourism industry has already embraced the ZiG. 

“We are happy with the introduction of the currency which appears to be strong. It is a currency that we are already using in our pricing model. Almost all operators now have a dual pricing system, we have the foreign currency prices and the local prices in ZiG. 

“The introduction of a strong local currency helps us grow the domestic market, where the domestic tourist can plan, budget and then visit various tourism destinations across the country without the nightmare that by the time they travel, the rate will have changed,” said Mr Mukwasi.

He said the pricing models they have adopted are determined by the daily rates as they are published by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). “We are confident that the currency will remain strong and grow our domestic cake. If the local currency is strong it makes the buying power of the local people stronger,” said Mr Mukwasi.

Specimens of the new ZiG currency

He said they expect that as the nation heads into other major public holidays like Heroes and Defence Forces Day in August, local people would embrace Victoria Falls as one of their preferred destinations.

“The chief enabler to all the travels and the decisions that people make is the predictability and availability of the currency and in this case, yes, as the tour operators we are confident that the new currency will work and we will support it by all means,” said Mr Mukwasi.

Vice-chairperson of the Women in Tourism (Matabeleland North) Mrs Mercy Mushangwe said the introduction of the local currency will make it easy for local tourists to transact. 

“We welcome the ZiG as it makes it very easy for our local tourists to transact in domestic tourism. The ZIG being a currency used in salary payments makes it easy to be used directly on tourism product payments. Being backed by gold, it is stable and friendly to keep as it does not lose value easily,” said Mrs Mushangwe.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe vice- president Mr Kudzai Ratisai also weighed in saying as an industry they are hopeful that the new currency will aid their operations through its stability. 

“From an industry point of view, we might have been affected by delayed payments during its introduction. However, all the payments have gone through and the new currency has not disappointed. It has actually done better than what people in the market thought. We are happy with it so far and as an industry, we hope it remains stable. Our industry accepted it and we are fully behind it,” said Mr Ratisai. – @nyeve14