Studies in Victoria Falls have revealed that Zimbabwe’s tourism is affected by the over-pricing of services, the Director in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality, Douglas Runyowa revealed during a meeting on investment in Harare.
Runyowa said that the over-pricing issue was as a result of the Zimbabwe using the US dollar, which the Director called a sustaining currency.
“The US dollar is a sustaining currency not a growth currency. When you change to Kwacha you gain more, when you change to Pula, you gain more but when when you change to the US dollar I think you know what will happen” the Director said.
Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 after a season of hyperinflation which caused the Zimbabwean dollar to lose value.
The pricing system for Domestic Tourism was also discussed during the meeting with participants stating that Zimbabweans could not afford the cost of patronage in local tourist resorts.
The Tourism Director responded to this by saying that plans are underway for Domestic Tourism.
“As for domestic tourism, we have discussed with the stakeholders to say during the dry season when the dam level is low why are you keeping the prices at tour high, why not reduce the prices for Domestic Tourism,” Runyowa said
Zimbabweans, more so those who are earning below the poverty datum line are not able to afford the prices offered by hotels for accommodation.
Besides the issue of pricing, Runyowa was asked about what the ministry has done in response to President Emerson Mnangagwa‘s first 100 days initiative which has just ended.
The Director said that the Tourism Ministry has been working on creating a duty-free for tourism players to import safari vehicles as well as developing the Tourism Strategy.
“What we have done for 2 years is to create the National Master Plan,” Runyowa answered.
President Emerson Mnangagwa gave Ministries 100 days of initiating changes in different sectors and mixed feelings have been exhibited among the citizens on the results of the initiative.
Zimbabwe’s tourism facilities have 3483 rooms as accommodation for tourists nationwide whilst Johannesburg, South Africa has over 12 thousand rooms.
The landlocked country still has got one centre, Harare International Convention Centre (HICC) to attract international conferences.