RUNNING the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is like driving a car without a steering wheel, the authority’s chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke has said, as he is frustrated by lack of government support.
Source: Kaseke decries lack of govt support for ZTA – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 1, 2016
BY REJOICE CHINGWARU
Kaseke said managing the operations of ZTA was like a punishment, as the authority has to boost the economy, albeit, with limited resources.
“Running ZTA is like driving a car without a steering wheel or a car without fuel and the person, who is giving you the car should put fuel. The tourism sector was allocated $470 000, which is not enough for marketing alone and other industries have been given more,” he said.
Kaseke said the shoe-string budget was making it impossible for the tourism body to travel and market Zimbabwe to other countries.
“The reason why other countries like Zambia and South Africa are getting a big chunk of the Chinese market is that they are always present at the market, Zimbabwean tourism marketers visit China once in three years, while other countries send their marketers four times or more a year,” he said.
Kaseke said a Zimbabwe tourism promotion officer for China has left the post and returned home because he had not been paid for a year. He said promotion officers in Germany, United Kingdom and America may follow suite, because of lack of payment of their salaries.
He said Zimbabwe has performing dismally on the Chinese market after a 46% decline in arrivals from the Asian giant in 2015.
Kaseke said a China-Africa Tourism Conference would be held next year in Victoria Falls, which will be used to woo more arrivals from China.
“We are performing dismally in the Chinese market and the number of arrivals of Chinese tourists decreased, given that in 2014 we had 12 927 arrivals compared to the 6 925 in 2015, and this is why we are hosting a China-Africa Tourism Conference from 20 to 23 March 2017 in Victoria Falls,” he said.
The main aim of the conference is to deliver information on how to penetrate the Chinese market and increase co-operation in African tourism sectors in order to offer multi-destination packages suitable for the Chinese market.
Tourism is seen as providing the quickest turnaround ahead of other sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing.
Under the 5:5:15:2020 model, Zimbabwe aims to have five million arrivals, generate $5 billion from tourism and the sector contributing 15% to the gross domestic product by 2020.