Zimbabwe’s $5bn tourism target doomed

via ‘$5bn tourism target doomed’ – DailyNews Live by Ndakaziva Majaka  16 MAY 2014 10:29AM

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi’s target to have the sector contribute $5 billion to Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2018 is farfetched and unattainable, analysts say.

They said the country must address its political situation first in order to attract tourists.

Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is currently recovering after taking a knock due to political instability and an economic meltdown.

Latest Zimbabwe Tourism Authority statistics indicate that the country recorded a two percent growth in tourist arrivals from 1 794 230 in 2012 to 1 832 570 in 2013.

Despite the increase, the arrivals are yet to reach the peak of 2,2 million tourists recorded in 1999.

The majority of 2013 arrivals were low-spending tourists from mainland Africa who came in at 1 570 799.

John Robertson, an independent economist, argued that the notion that the tourism sector will contribute $5 billion to Zimbabwe’s GDP — estimated at $10 billion — is “a bit ambitious”.

“The country is not attractive to tourists from the traditional markets which are in the West,” he said.

“For the minister’s forecast to be realised there is need to address the issue of the political image and how the immigration and customs staff treat tourists.

“If the past is addressed, maybe the sector will contribute significantly to the country’s economy,” said Robertson.

After Zimbabwe embarked on a land repossession exercise back in 2002, followed by political instability which led to an acute economic crisis, tourists particularly from key source markets like Europe started shunning Zimbabwe.

The country’s traditional tourist markets are Europe, the Americas and Australia.

Robertson added that “there are scary reports of tourists being displaced in a series on on-going land grab exercises by the Zanu PF-led government… at this rate the $5 billion projection will never be realised.”

Takunda Mugaga, also an economist, said Mzembi’s goal could only be attainable if Zimbabwe’s political risk is addressed.

“Tourism has been steadily growing and if government wants to meet the $5 billion projection there is need to improve on the country’s international image,” he said.

“No matter how much Mzembi works as a minister, his efforts will amount to nothing if the other ministries in government do not help him,” said Mugaga.



  • comment-avatar
    Methinks 9 years ago

    One problem prevalent among the people that mislead zimbabwe is this tendency to set grandiose targets without thinking about how to achieve them. $5b in tourism by 2018, 2 million jobs in the same time, $27b ZimAsset etc. where is the plan. Ever heard of SMART goals?

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    mandy 9 years ago

    Totally agree with methinks. Those entrusted with leadership spend their time on things that are fashionable and end up regurgitating even nonsense. Planning is about thinking through assumptions out which you arrive at fundamentals. The assumptions in ZimAsset cannot answer even the simplest of questions why Dubai has become a tourist destination. Today was watching television as Hong Kong ground tonnes of ivory before burning them. tourism is no longer the same as thirty years ago. We run the risk of planning on back packers as target tourists. You are most likely to spent more on them by deporting them should they miss their schedule return flights.

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    Stop insulting the West, stop threatening the West, when young farm girls are beaten and murdered, do something about it. Stop the racist attitude towards White Zimbabweans and start trying to create a united society. Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans need to get an education on how to behave in todays modern world and get over your prejudices.

    • comment-avatar
      Petal 9 years ago

      HEAR HEAR HER Jrr56!!

    • comment-avatar
      Petal 9 years ago

      It will never stop until Bob and the rest of the buffoons go these people have suffered alot under him you hear him everytime speaking ill of them in his language

  • comment-avatar
    Chaka 9 years ago

    None of their dreams coming true. The poor guys fumbling w no way to turn. We r waiting for the great fall n burial of zpf.

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    Saddened 9 years ago

    I believe Mzembi himself knows this is unattainable but has to please the ‘dear leader’ by coming up with his own wish list like his other counterparts. Let’s not waste our time & energy discussing the imaginings of these incompetent clowns. We are giving them our energy that can better be spent coming up with workable plans to revive our economy, when they are gone.

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    Mzembi being grandios …. again

  • comment-avatar

    what tourist wants to visit a racist country with under nourished and sad faced citizens.