via ZTA seeks to revive fund – Southern Eye by Gamma Mudarikiri
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has submitted to the government a proposal requesting $200 million to finance revamping of operations in the sector and revival of the tourism revolving fund, an official has said.
In an interview with Southern Eye Business in Bulawayo ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe stopped financing the revolving fund in 2006.
“We have submitted a proposal to the government for the revival of tourism revolving fund and requested an initial $200 million,” he said.
However, Kaseke said as an organisation, they were not expecting the full amount to be released at once considering the government had no money.
He said the fund would be used to finance operations of players in the tourism sector in Bulawayo, Harare, Victoria Falls and other towns hamstrung by capital constraints to expand.
Kaseke said the tourism industry would in the next five years require between $1 billion and $1,5 billion to fully recapitalise.
Speaking on service provision by Bulawayo tourism operators, Kaseke said he had noted an improvement compared to last year especially after most hotels carried refurbishments.
ZTA had last year threatened to strip Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo of its four-star status, accusing it of substandard services.
“Rainbow has greatly improved after the refurbishment,” Kaseke said.
The tourism industry continues to grow and is expected to contribute 15% towards the national gross domestic product next year.
According to ZTA, the tourism sector employs 10% of all the formal employed population in Zimbabwe.