$5.8 Million support scheme for the Zimbabwe tourism industry

 $5.8 Million support scheme for the Zimbabwe tourism industry

$5.8 million support scheme for the Zimbabwe tourism industry.

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Zimbabwe tourism sector is expected to bounce back at the average annual growth of 6 % for both international and domestic tourism market amid government intervention with a $5.8 million scheme to support tourism industry.

The announcement was made in March 2021 by the government which suggested a $5.8 million scheme with a 50% loan guarantees to businesses in the tourism sector.

In August 2020, Zimbabwe commenced tourism operations to revive the sector from the effects of Covid19 lockdown on a national perspective.

The revival of tourism sector started by promoting domestic tourism and re-opening of tourist attraction sites as one of the strategies

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) stated that the tourism sector contributed 7.2% and 6.5% of the country’s GDP in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

However due to the slowing down of businesses last year the country is said by the ZTA to have lost an estimate of at least $1bn in potential revenue.

Last year tourism operators called out for financial support in order to cope with the impact of covid19 but little aid was given to private enterprises.

The pandemic added on heavy weight to Zimbabwe’s economic crisis hence, causing the local currency to spiral out of control in devaluating.

Shortages of cash, fuel and other basic commodities have played a part in pausing and contracting the tourism and hospitality sectors’ value and progress.

In 2020 the economy had fallen back by more than 7%, there’s expectation of a 2.9% increase in the economy due to improved rainfall and decrease in inflation as alleged by the World Bank.

The government wishes to safe guard 60% of the country’s 14.8 million population with the vision to achieve herd immunity by the end of this year.

The Coronavirus pandemic dragged the travel and tourism sectors to a point of complete stagnancy in the sense that 2 million jobs both direct and indirect, as estimated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), will be a cost to the continent due to the pandemic.

The UNWTO planned out guidelines to revive tourism as more and more African countries including Zimbabwe open their borders.

Due to the reliance on international travellers most African countries’ tourism sectors were greatly affected as borders were closed resulting in steep revenue loss.

Countries like Zimbabwe had to resort to domestic tourism in order to sustain the sector however that move too was not as rewarding nor efficient due to the constant national lockdowns and movement restrictions.

As travel restrictions in Africa eased, Tanzania was the first country to reopen its boarders to international travel and tourists, followed after by Seychelles Island, Tunisia, Egypt, DRC, Morocco, Rwanda, Liberia and Zambia.

Tourist destinations such as South Africa had re-opened their boarders early this year 2021.

Vaccine inoculation campaigns were launched on the 18th of February this year and the campaign targeted 60,000 healthcare and other forehead workers and so far 44,000 of them have received vaccinated.

High optimism that a vaccine rollout could rebound the tourism sector is present throughout the country, however some hospitality and holiday businesses need more than just a covid-19 jab to recoup the losses experienced by a country that had and is going through severe economic crisis.

During the NDS1 Period, focus will be on enhanced destination accessibility through attracting new airlines, strengthening the national airline and opening up domestic air routes to local players.

Government will also upgrade and modernise road networks to promote drive through tourism, improve road signage and continuously review immigration policies to improve the competitiveness of the destination.

Chen Williams

A young Energetic communication expert with an unrivaled ability to understand how to pitch stories objectively for financial publications and the Arts. Passionate about business, the youth in agriculture, video editing, photography, and music production.

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