In Zimbabwe, tourism played a very significant role in the development of the national economy taking advantage of its most diversified tourism resource base. The contribution of the 0.7% in 1980 to 9.8% in 2007.
Notwithstanding natural attractions, very limited tourism development occurred during the past nine years owing to challenges associated with perceived country risk, lack of working capital, inadequate domestic services, and deteriorating infrastructure.Â
As part of STERP, tourism revival will be prioritised through securing external lines of credit for working capital, rehabilitation of infrastructure and importation of capital equipment among others.
Financing will also benefit from engagement and incentivising Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to make meaningful investment in the tourism sector.
Capacitating the National Tourism Organisation
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), responsible for promoting and developing tourism will be adequately resourced to effectively carry out its mandate.
Furthermore, the Inclusive Government will launch an aggressive marketing campaign covering regional and
In that regard, high level teams will be dispatched to different countries to reflect on the correct image and potential of the country, as well as removing the country risk perceptions entrenched in source markets and consequently lobby for the removal of travel warnings.
Such marketing strategies will also include forging of more strategic alliances with regional and international tour operators destinations.
Tourism Product Re-Development
The tourism product has deteriorated over the years thereby impacting negatively on the competitiveness of the destination. product redevelopment is required as a matter of extreme urgency.
The 2009 Budget has already given incentives for investment into the tourism sector such as exempted duty payments on capital goods used by registered designated tourist facilities. This also included exemption of duty on equipment used for expansion, modernisation and renovation of tourist facilities. A Tourism Revolving Fund will therefore be established to allow the Tourism Operators to revamp, renew and refurbish their products and services.
Investment in the Tourism Sector
The need for a conducive investment climate is as important for the tourism sector as it is for all other sectors of the economy. The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Management will intensify its efforts to promote foreign direct investment in the tourism sector. In this regard, the 1st International Conference on Investment opportunities in the Tourism and Related Sectors will be held during the 2nd quarter of the year.
Pricing of the Tourism Product
The pricing of the tourism product is critical for destination competitiveness. It is important that the price of tourism products be seen as contributing positively to the total attractiveness of the destinations.
The Inclusive Government through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will continue to monitor prices in the tourism sector so as to keep prices in line with the total marketing strategy.
Related to the issue of pricing is the use of internationally acceptable modes of payment such as credit cards and immediately through the financial sector.
Incentives to increase air traffic frequency into the country, coupled with continued access to finance for developing tourism infrastructure will complement these efforts. This will entail targeted identification of zones for the accelerated development of tourism infrastructure.
International Air Access
Air transport plays a very critical role in tourism development. In 1996, Zimbabwe was served by 45 foreign carriers linking the destination to more than 100 International source markets. Currently there are 7 carriers serving the destination. This is attributed to the restrictive and protective air transport policies that have seen many foreign carriers being denied rights to land in Zimbabwe.
To increase destination access from the major source markets both long and short haul, the Inclusive Government will introduce more liberal and less protective air transport policies and offer competitive incentives to attract foreign airlines in accordance with the Open Skies Policy.
Currently access to tourist resorts remains a challenge, with tourists spending valuable leisure time traveling to reach their intended destinations. As such the internal access to local destinations by road, air and rail will be significantly improved.
The Inclusive Government will make deliberate efforts to facilitate the operations of domestic airlines and luxury tourist coach services.
Ports of entry
The Inclusive Government will improve the country's ports of entry (Airports and Border posts) to international standards through reactivating its plans to establish a National Ports Authority which will develop and manage our ports of entry, similar to management of airports by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.
Promotion and Image Building
Zimbabwe's image in the major source markets as well as investments and trade markets requires to be improved. The Inclusive Government will launch an aggressive marketing campaign - Regional and International Markets.
In this regard high level teams will be dispatched to different countries to reflect on the correct image and potential of the country, as well as removing the country risk perceptions entrenched in all markets.
The Inclusive Government will engage the different governments that have issued travel warnings against
Zimbabwe to have them removed.
2010 Soccer World Cup
The 2010 World Cup to be hosted by South Africa avails an opportunity for domestic companies to take advantage of its spill-off effects, hence the need to intensify programmes to promote tourism.
In this regard, implementation of the National 2010 Strategy crafted by Government will be expedited.