‘5 million tourist arrivals by 2020, pie in the sky’

ZIMBABWE’S bid to achieve 5 million tourist arrivals by 2020 could remain pie in the sky due to the government’s failure to support tourism promotion, an executive has said.

Source: ‘5 million tourist arrivals by 2020, pie in the sky’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2016


The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is in charge of tourism promotion but remains underfunded.

The country targets to record $5 billion in export revenue by 2020.

The industry also wants to increase tourism receipts from $827 million to more than $3 billion, as well as increase tourism contribution to GDP from 11% in 2014 to 15% by 2020

But ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said the ambitious targets would not be met as Zimbabwe was not doing what it was supposed to do to achieve its set goals.

“We don’t seem to be doing the things that will give us such tourists by 2020. Right now we are at 2 million,” Kaseke said at a media briefing in Bulawayo on Friday.

He said the fact that there were still more police roadblocks in the country’s highways meant Zimbabwe should forget about achieving its targets.

Kaseke said ZTA was underfunded which constrained its operations.

“ZTA which is supposed to do the marketing is not funded. For example, the Sanganai/Hlanganani was not well-funded. We were only given half the money we required and as for now we haven’t been given the other half,” he said.

Kaseke said some regional countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Zambia were well-funded by their governments.

For instance, in 2014 South Africa tourism body received $130 million from the government while Zambia received $33 million.

He said in South Africa, each provincial tourism body was given $10 million.

“However, in Zimbabwe we are only given $470 000. How can you market a country with this kind of money? It’s like being given a car without a steering wheel,” Kaseke said.

He said due to this, the tourism industry was performing badly as evidenced by 52% (aggregate) hotel occupancy achieved last year.

Kaseke said pockets of protests and stay-aways experienced recently in the country were not good for tourism sector.

He also noted that the economic cost of sanctions and negative perceptions of Zimbabwe were significant on the tourism sector.

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) tourism vision 2020 projects the industry to grow at an average annual rate of 3,8% by 2020. It forecasts international tourist arrivals worldwide to reach nearly 1,4 billion by the same year, 2,5 times the arrivals recorded in the 1990s.

Of this global total, ZTA revealed that 1,2 billion would be intraregional and 378 million would be long-haul travel.


  • comment-avatar

    ZTA CEO talks absolute rubbish. ZTA is responsible for turning Kenya Airways away from Vic Falls on it’s newly introduced route of Nairobi to Cape Town and return. Kenya Airways is landing at Livingstone Airport in Zambia instead. Why don’t you allow more tourist-carrying airlines into Vic Falls (your tourist capitol) like BA, Lufthansa, Emirates, Delta. Your new Vic Falls airport is going to be a very costly ‘white elephant’. Since you use the American dollar (without the permission of the Americans!), why don’t you do away with visa fees for Americans, infact for EVERBODY. My Zim friends tell me that the biggest obstacle to any increase in tourism is all your police roadblocks (don’t forget that nearly all your income generating tourists come from fully democratic countries where police roadblocks are a totally alien concept) and your multiple tiered pricing structure: it costs a citizen $7 to visit your Victoria Falls, but a tourist from overseas is charged $30 for excactly the same view!!!, plus a hefty VAT tax on tourist accommodation and activities. My understanding is that there are NO sanctions imposed currently on Zimbabwe, just on a few individuals, so why lie about that? So, Mr Kaseke: dream on.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    His repetitive comments on funding suggest he wants more personal perks. The ZTA doesn’t market Zimbabwe – the country is sufficiently well-known internationally that it markets itself. Besides the police roadblocks, the Beitbridge border mess totally turns off South Africans – I have relatives in RSA who refuse to come here for that reason alone. Add on the cost of selling anything to tourists, which ZIMRA have already increased with their excessive duties, and we are an unattractively expensive destination. And they have failed for years (like in everything else) to understand that it incenses a tourist to pay more than a citizen for the same service – it’s plain human nature.

    Try driving through the village of Birchenough Bridge to view the famous bridge – the road is so bad that the locals drive through the bush to avoid it.

    Customs duty exemption is available on capital purchase imports – but only after you have been OPERATING FOR 3 YEARS! So, who does that help? The country is crumbling under the weight of stupidity and incompetence. Corruption is a secondary problem – it’s temporary – but stupidity is forever.

    So, keep wallowing Kaseke.

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    mandevu 6 years ago

    This would only be possible with the demise of Zanu PF. Getting rid of the thieves, chaos and disastrous policy regime which has led to rampant corruption and a strong sense of security risk. Tourists wont come here under those conditions

  • comment-avatar

    I know for sure Zanu will be dead so its very achievable

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    Paul Fieldhouse 6 years ago

    Even the 2m tourists ZTA currently claims visit Zimbabwe seems very high to me. Presumably most of whatever the correct figure is go to Victoria Falls ?

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    Kevin 6 years ago

    Kaseke is lying about South African Tourism funding. It is considerably less than he states as most of it is spent, just as in Zimbabwe, paying the inflated salaries of useless incompetents, who belong to the governing party.

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    Give me one good reason why I tourist would want to visit Zimbabwe with the current situation . Well I quess if they want to be robbed off there $$$ police are good at robbing tourists, I should know my total cost for a visit to Zim $5,000 mmmm Robbed by the corrupt police force . And the corrupt ZIMRA officials .
    Please God may be one day when it’s all sorted out with a government that really wants tourism , and not frighten them away .