Negative destination brand haunts Zimbabwe

via Negative destination brand haunts Zimbabwe – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 18, 2014 by Tarisai Mandizha

THE tourism sector recorded a marginal increase in tourist arrivals in 2013 with visitors from Africa contributing the highest number of tourists, an official at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has said.

Addressing a tourism consultative forum in Harare recently, ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said the arrivals rose to 1,8 million in 2013, a marginal increase from 1,7 million recorded in 2012.

He said transit tourists constituted 592 303 of these arrivals.
Kaseke said on average expenditure by visitors from mainland Africa was around $250 per trip based on the 2004 Visitor Exit Survey and due to Zimbabwe’s geographic location, the destination was naturally a transit hub in the region.

“The great traffic from Africa is usually visitors who are transiting through the country to South Africa and Tanzania mainly for trade purposes.

“On average, these people spend at least 1,5 to two nights either in their vehicles, public transport, in collective commercial accommodation or in private homes,” Kaseke said.

He said the negative destination brand continued to haunt the nation.
Kaseke said European tourist arrivals were 128 901 in 2013, a decline of 66% from the peak period of 1999 which had a record 380 113 European visitors.

“The period 1980 to 1999 arrivals average growth rate was 14% per annum. Had this growth been sustained, over 14 million arrivals would have been realised in year 2013,” he said.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa recently said the tourism industry’s contribution to the economy was currently estimated at about 10% and had the potential to grow to 15% by 2015.

Chinamasa said the average hotel room and bed occupancy levels was around 59% and 41%, respectively and were expected to improve in 2014 to 61% and 42%.

“The tourism revenue receipts, however, do not seem to tally with the recorded increase in tourist arrivals. There is, therefore, an urgent need for Zimbabwe to embrace the Tourism Satellite Account module — a statistical package designed to accurately measure the sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product,” Chinamasa said.



  • comment-avatar
    William Doctor 8 years ago

    Well – if the President wasn’t a racist homophobe, then maybe the country would get more visitors.

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    The government has worked very hard to establish this negative brand. They work tirelessly every day, even now, to boost this negative brand. This brand is so well known that you will hardly find a corner of the earth where it is not known. It is the greatest single achievement of the independence era. Now this Keseke wants to throw it all away!

    He wants to throw away all that the heroes have worked for. What next? Rule of law, free elections, real campaigns against corruption. Does this man know that he is playing with fire?

    More seriously, these statistics look dubious. We all know that visits by real tourist who spend real tourist money, more than $1000 per head, are few. The world is full of wonderful places to visit. Who would risk their family to corrupt officials, substandard facilities and very high prices for no reason?

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    Sekuru Mapenga 8 years ago

    Zimbabwe has a filthy name worldwide. It is not because of our people who are on the whole decent and hardworking. It is because of our twisted president, our weird politics and our corrupt officials.

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    most of these visitors are merely diasporians returning to visit family…