Tourists spend $800m in a year

The total spending by visitors to Zimbabwe was over $800 million in the period July 2015 to June 2016, with the bulk of them coming to visit friends and relatives, a new report has shown.

Source: Tourists spend $800m in a year – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 30, 2016


Each visitor was spending an average of $385 per stay and 2 106 975 people visited the country during the period, according to the Zimbabwe Visitor Exit Survey (VES) Report 2015/16.

It showed that 31,1% of visitors to Zimbabwe were coming to visit friends and relatives, while 18,2% were here for holiday leisure.

The VES Report 2015/16 was a project undertaken by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, the African Development Bank and the Tourism ministry to ascertain the level of tourism in the country and identify areas of improvement.
It covered the period July 2015 to June this year.

“33% of visitors either stayed with friends or relatives. Commercial accommodation such as hotels, lodges, chalets and camps accounted for 22% of all the accommodation used by the visitors,” the report said.

As such, an overall of 42% of visitors did not utilise any commercial accommodation, which included excursionists, visitors who slept in coaches/buses, trucks, cars and churches, thus cutting costs. Usually when travelling, accommodation is the biggest cost incurred.

The VES Report 2015/16 found that 83,7% of visitors spent $500 or less, while 41,8% spent $50 or less during their stay.

“The highest expenditure was on food and beverages accounting for 28%, followed by accommodation at 18%. Visitors from Oceania region were the highest spenders at $1 354, followed by those from Europe with an average expenditure of $909. The least spenders were visitors from Africa, with an average expenditure of $310,” the report said.

Another reason behind the low expenditure was that as the major source market of visitors was the African region with 80,7%, a large proportion of them did not utilise any commercial accommodation.

Visitors from overseas markets were found to utilise commercial accommodation, with the exception of United Kingdom, with 52,1% staying with friends and relatives.

“Although the proportion of visitors from African countries was the highest (80,7%) their average length of stay was the lowest, 7,6 nights. Visitors from Zambia (37,4%), South Africa (16,3%), Malawi (29,3%) and Botswana (3,8%) did not spend any money in Zimbabwe which agrees with findings that majority of visitors merely come to sightsee the country while spending money in neighbouring countries,” the report said

Visitors from the same countries spent between $1 and $50, while in the overseas countries, the United States had more visitors with low expenditure.

Harare, with 29,1% visitors, edged out Victoria Falls (27,9%) and Bulawayo (22,6%), as the most visited destination in the country.

The report found that 80,6% of visitors used cash during their stay, while 5,8% used plastic money.

For holiday/leisure visitors, the average expenditure per person per trip was $681.

However, the highest average expenditure was by visitors from South Africa at $1 081 followed by those from Denmark ($936), the United Kingdom ($857), Australia ($848) and the United States ($800).


  • comment-avatar

    The 21-33% were relatives, ie: ex-Zim residents or Citizens, only 22% were proper ‘tourists’. the remaining 52% were made up of shoppers from neighbouring countries in transit, and ‘tourists’ who had gone out to a neighbouring country on a day tour and were returning in the evening. The high cost of accommodation, the exhorbitant visa fees and Rain forest entry fees are the prime reasons for many tourists not coming to Zimbabwe. Oh yes: we mustn’t forget the Zimbabwe Robbery Police -they are perhaps THE main reason why many thousands of self-drive tourists do not come to Zimbabwe.
    All these figures they have produced are all lies, anyway: “83.7% spent less than $500, whilst 41.8% spent less than $50” ! Doesn’t make sense. Either the Statistician doesn’t know how to do his job, or someones cooking the books.

  • comment-avatar

    If bob took his holidays here instead of going abroad the figures would be higher

    • comment-avatar
      spiralx 5 years ago

      Only if he put himself up for sale, or preferably went into permanent retirement in N. Korea and only occasionally returned for a holiday…

  • comment-avatar

    And 99% of tourists going home are heard to say, ” I’m never going there again!”.

    • comment-avatar
      spiralx 5 years ago

      There are actually a lot of tourist operators running some pretty spectacular options, as seen here only 3 weeks ago:
      But the lack of regime support, combined with their general ineptitude, and now the anticipated bond note disaster, will probably continue to inhibit their ability to grow their businesses in any meaningful way.

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    The numbers are clap trap – take out cross day or night numbers foraging for food and other and you are left with SFA – fact!
    Time got off the LSD and tone it down to the weed!

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    Ngoto Zimbwa 5 years ago

    Them figures have got to be from some obscure government department.
    Did I say government?
    There is no government in our Zim.
    A government would recognize the plight of the country and act accordingly.
    Instead, we have police brutality in the face of mass protest by the populace at gross ineptitude by this clueless admin.