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Tourism players speak on recovery efforts

Story by Tich Kurewa

The local tourism industry is expected to ride on the surge in global travel as projected by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO).

The UNWTO) says global international tourist arrivals could reach 95 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels this year, depending on the extent of some global shocks including the evolution of the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

As such, local tourism players are confident that Zimbabwe has what it takes to claim its share.

Love for Africa managing director, Mr. Blessing Munyenyiwa said, “We should continue to engage with our government and tourism ministry in trying to see how we could attract more visitors, like our fellow brothers and sisters across the river are doing. Currently most countries into South Africa and Botswana do not pay for visas; Zambia has just now also adopted that where many nationalities are no longer paying visa into that country. This makes these countries attractive for tourists to come.

“In actual fact, if you look at visa cost for an American or any other national, it’s a small number which is insignificant in the big picture. The impact of not having event that small amount, it a big marketing tool in its self in that those countries are welcome, the doors are open and that’s what Zambia has done. We need to continue encouraging our government to do the same, it’s not because we are following behind or copying anything; it’s just that it will enable us to grow.”

Shearwater marketing manager Mr. John Laing also noted, “There is need for Africa to sell its brand as a block and Southern Africa should engage IATA in order to increase flight routes into the region. This will ensure connectivity and convenience for those who will visit the region.”

According the UNWTO, more than 900 million tourists travelled internationally in 2022, double the number recorded in 2021 though still 63 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

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