BY SHARON BUWERIMWE
THE number of foreign tourists declined by 77% between 2019 and 2020, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) revealed in its latest 2020 Annual Migration and Tourism Statistics report.
The report, released last Thursday, said the decline in tourist arrivals was due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in slow recovery of the industry.
It states that the number of tourists declined from 2 466 183 in 2019 to only 567 766 in 2020.
“In the year 2020, Zimbabwe had 567 766 visitors, a decrease from the 2 466 183 who visited Zimbabwe in 2019 signalling a decrease of almost 77% of visitors to Zimbabwe. The bulk of visitors to Zimbabwe, 43%, were in-transit to other countries. Visitors who came to Zimbabwe in the year 2020 used road (496 923) to cross into the country compared to 70 686 who used air as their mode of entry,” read the report.
ZimStats also stated that the number of immigrants into Zimbabwe decreased by 72%
“The year 2020 had a total of 154 immigrants into Zimbabwe compared to 542 who migrated to Zimbabwe in 2019. This represents a 72% decrease in immigrants. Most of the immigrants were between 20 and 30 years old. Most of the immigrants had temporary residence status. Immigrants who came to Zimbabwe in 2020 were in the construction industry with males dominating. The most popular town of destination by immigrants was Harare with 122 immigrants, followed by Bindura with seven immigrants heading there.”
Government last year launched the tourism recovery growth strategy, which sought to provide stimulus support to the industry and promote domestic travel.