BULAWAYO — Over-pricing of tourism products and a stronger United States dollar currency is threatening the survival of the local tourism industry in southern Africa, top events and incentives business experts have said.
Source: Overpricing, strong dollar threaten tourism – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 16, 2016
BY TAFADZWA UFUMELI
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the incentive travel consultants training workshop ahead of the Sanganai/Hlanganani that kicks off today, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) head of business development manager Adrian Fourie said the issue of pricing was an albatross to the growth of local tourism industry.
“Most the incentive programmes that we are looking at are priced in dollar terms, some people might think that because of the exchange, we are doing ourselves a favour. We should know that our luxury products are pricing in dollar terms and by so doing, we are pushing ourselves out the market.
“As southern region we need to come together in marketing, the pricing of tourism products in Zimbabwe has and is a major stumbling block, the currency has been devalued. In Zimbabwe obviously the currency fluctuates quite a lot, which is also the case with South Africa,” Foure said.
SITE southern African chairperson Tes Proos said incentive groups were always looking for new and unique experiences, destination management companies and need to explore the “wealth of opportunities within their region and work closely with their suppliers to come up with fresh ideas”.
Fourie also took a swipe at the prevailing visa regime, which he said was a major hindrance to the free movement of tourists around the region.
Meanwhile, the Immigration Department recently announced new regulations and a relaxation on the visa regime.
Under the revised visa regime, Immigration department principal director Clemence Masango said 37 countries had been moved from Category C to B meaning that nationals would receive visas on arrival.
The immigration department operates a three-tier model classified into categories A, B and C. Category A refers to countries whose national are exempt from visa requirements, while category B obtain visas at the port of entry.
Category C refers to nationals that are required to apply for visas prior to travel. Among the countries that moved from Category C to B include China, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Algeria, Turkey and Cuba.
The 9th edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani runs up to Saturday at the ZITF grounds in Bulawayo.