The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Prisca Mupfumira has said whilst tourism plays a major role in the economic well-being of Zimbabwe, there is often no co-ordination of policies across sectors to enable tourism growth. Mupfumira was making an address on the occasion of the briefing meeting with tourism stakeholders, on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Tourism Facility in Harare. The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality has in the past clashed with the Ministry of Home Affairs over the issue of roadblocks that had increased on Zimbabwe’s highways.
“Chief among the challenges affecting tourism growth are limited international air access, inadequate internal airline connectivity, poor state of roads in tourism resorts and a non-competitive tourism product that is not only priced but old and tired,” said Mupfumira.
Prices of services have always been high in Zimbabwe and at one point international delegates were forced to abandon Victoria Falls’ hotels for Zambia due to costs.
The tourism sector, which in 2016 receipts recorded a to $819 million grew from US$200 million in 2009 to an estimated billion dollar industry it is today according to Mupfumira. The sector in 2014 the sector made up to 5.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounting for 20.3 percent of Zimbabwe’s exports
“Equally, the volume of tourism traffic into Zimbabwe has improved from 1.7 million in 2012 to 2.1 million in 2016, and by the end of 2018 we are positive that we will receive 2.5 million tourist arrivals” said Mupfumira.
Hospitality Minister congratulated the Minister of Home Affairs for attending to the harassment of tourists on police roadblocks that was happening along the country’s highway.
Mupfumira’s four programs in the next 100 days include the development of a National Tourism Sector Strategy, Domestic tourism campaign, an image of Zimbabwe as a tourist destination and tourism facilitation and also tourism satellite account. The 100 days were given by President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa for Ministers to have completed some programs for the country.