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TOURISM minister Priscah Mupfumira has applauded the new dispensation, ushered in by the military for setting the tourism industry on the rebound.
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
Mupfumira made the remarks yesterday in Victoria Falls when she was officiating at the Shearwater Explorers Village.
She revealed that hotel occupancy rates since beginning of the year had risen above the 10% annual rates of previous years.
“The President Emmerson Mnangagwa] came up with a mantra and through the new Cabinet we have come with a changed way of doing business and I can assure you that we are no longer the same. We had been isolated in the world for over 18 years with self-induced pain. Most of the times but he has declared that Zimbabwe is open for business and we are witnessing it,” she said.
“Nowhere in history or in the world has there been a change without bloodshed, but it happened in Zimbabwe and it will go in the annals of history as something unique and we forever applaud our armed forces for ushering us in this new era peacefully without any bloodshed.”
She added that there was need for infrastructure development, including hotels and theme parks mainly in tourist destinations.
“Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. At any one time, there are 1,2 million people on 9 728 flights in the air according to Airlines Data Company Flight Aware. On statistics, as a sector, we must ask ourselves how many people and flights are coming to Africa as a continent and the whole region.
“According to statistics, global tourism receipts for the year 2017 stood at $1,4 trillion, 7 % being alluded to Africa. The Sadc region accounted for only 2% of the African total arrivals and Zimbabwe only getting a mere 12%. Our endeavour, therefore, is to increase arrivals. This can be done by continuously improving our products and offering best value for money services that will cause our tourists to return with more visitors.”
The village offers 60 camping tents and 32 chalets which can accommodate up to 200 people and plans are underway to also construct similar facilities in the resort town.