The US say Inadequate Infrastructure is Why Tourism is not Growing & the ZTA Agrees

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Tourists Concentrated at Victoria Falls
Image Credit: Sunday News

The United States of America is the largest provider of tourists in Zimbabwe with nearly 50,000 visitors to Victoria Falls every year.

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“Nearly 50,000 go to Victoria Falls each year. We would like to see them (American tourists) go to Hwange, Eastern Highlands, Kariba, Great Zimbabwe in the future…if the infrastructure improves we hope some American companies will be on those contracts,” former American Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Harry Thomas.

Infrastructure development is a strong hindrance to the growth of Tourism in Zimbabwe with foreign visitors concentrated on Victoria Falls alone. Executive Director for the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Sophie Zirebwa is on record saying that some of the urban areas in Zimbabwe lack the accommodation to support the Tourism Sector

Infrastructure in Zimbabwe has always been a challenge in Zimbabwe with members of the tourism industry also stating that access to other tourists destinations around country as a challenge.

ZTA CEO, Givemore Chidzidzi noted the country’s Tourist Services were generally poor as compared to other international tourist destinations.

“Taking a survey from 136 countries, Zimbabwe has been recorded as number 106 in the tourist services infrastructure because of broken handles, dilapidated kitchens and furniture and an improvement is needed,” Chidzidzi said in the Newsday.

Zimbabwe’s infrastructure has also a limited number of rooms that do not accommodate visitors during the holidays.

Although infrastructure is still a challenge, the government has been working on developing the tourist attraction centers.

The Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga has in the past revealed plan to refurbish the Mutare and Beitbridge airports as a way of promoting Tourism in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, the new look Victoria Falls airport which was commissioned in 2016 with a capacity to accommodate wide bodied aircraft and 1.5 million passengers per annum has seen a rise in its capacity utilisation which has risen from 21 to 26 %recently according to the ZTA Website. This is while Tourism players recorded a 20% boom in business owing to consistency by airlines in servicing the route.

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