Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has started implementing its five year strategic plan that is expected to stimulate revenue and culminate in the declaration of a dividend to Government.
The authority is running on a five year strategic plan hinged on Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), in line with President Mnangagwa’s call for the country to leverage on low hanging fruits and stimulate economic growth.
While tourists’ arrivals have been on the increase since the coming in of the new dispensation in November, 2017 resulting in record arrivals in 2018, tourism receipts remain subdued largely due to the lack of adequate tourism infrastructure.
The problem has also affected Zimparks and the authority’s director-general Mr Fulton Mangwanya, has been emphasising on the need for an extensive receipts growing exercise.
Key to this, the authority is seeking to refurbish its accommodation units across the country, which have a current carrying capacity of 880 beds, to the levels of three to five star hotels as a way of ramping up on receipts.
Lake Chivero will be the first beneficiary of this facelift, which will also target Hwange National Park and Mana Pools.
Designs for the upgrade of Hwange have already been done while a mini game park has now been set at the authority’s headquarters along Borrowdale Road, Harare where plans are underway for the construction of a coffee shop.
“You are aware that we sent out adverts for the refurbishment of our facilities at Lake Chivero and we are pleased to say the response from the market has been very positive,” said Mr Farawo.
“Our hope is that once these improvements are done, we would record an increase in our revenue and be able to declare a dividend to the shareholder.
“This year alone we have planned to refurbish facilities at Chivero, which is now work in progress, Hwange National Park and Mana Pools,” he said.
The TSP, prioritises support for aggressive marketing and rebranding of Zimbabwe, to facilitate tourism arrivals and receipts taking advantage of the country’s diverse tourist attractions.
This hinges on provision of incentive packages, and the relaxation of restrictive visa requirements on which front Government has so far upgraded visitors from at least 25 countries from category C visitors (visa before travel) to category B (visa on arrival).