President Mnangagwa officially launched the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy, Thursday 6 August, as he led the re-start of the sector. Tourism’s contribution to the national economy has been heavily crippled by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Mnangagwa also officially re-opened the Victoria Falls Rainforest, signalling readiness for the country to welcome visitors into the prime resort destination, and conducted the official opening of Mbano Manor Hotel, one of the newest developments in the tourism town.
At the official launch event of the strategy document, President Mnangagwa said the tourism sector had an important role to play in the attainment of the National Vision as one of the four pillars underpinning economic growth alongside agriculture, mining and manufacturing. “The National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy we are launching today, is anchored on Zimbabwe’s vision to be a prime international tourist destination based in the judicious and sustainable exploitation of the unique assets of nature, culture, heritage and the built environment. The strategy is informed by the Government’s Vision 2030 to become an upper middle income economy characterised by increased investment, decent jobs and populace free from poverty and corruption,” said the President.
“The high growth target of this strategy, which seeks to achieve a US$5 billion tourism economy by year 2025 is ambitious and yet achievable.
“This strategy will also facilitate robust investment into the tourism sector to create employment and help support livelihoods.”
President Mnangagwa challenged players in the sector to work harder to achieve increased domestic and international tourist arrivals, room occupancy and higher tourist expenditures. He said the new strategy focus required industry players to be creative and innovative by offering the target markets new products and services that continuously give the country a competitive edge in the region and globally.
He was accompanied by Cabinet ministers Professor Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Dr Sithembiso Nyoni (Women Affairs and SMEs), July Moyo (Local Government), Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri (Defence), Owen Ncube (State Security), Mangaliso Ndlovu (Tourism), Matabeleland North Provincial Minister Richard Moyo, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet George Charamba and several senior Government officials.
The world heritage site, through which tourists get to view the mighty Victoria Falls, was closed for 100 days following the outbreak of Covid-19 as part of national mitigation efforts against the spread of the pandemic.
President Mnangagwa said while the lockdown period has crippled arrivals, it has led to the reinvigoration of the falls themselves and the renewal of the ecosystem and the surrounding environment.
President Mnangagwa, however, stressed the need for the country to remain vigilant while opening up the tourism sector by strictly adhering to health and safety guidelines stipulated by the World Health Organisation to curb Covid-19 infections.
Download a copy of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy document from the link below.