Story by Josephine Mugiyo
One of the country’s prime tourist attractions, the Great Zimbabwe Monument is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for local and international tourists.
Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is a priority in the National Development Strategy One, with all stakeholders focusing on increasing tourist arrivals in the country.
Mbuya Mujena, a resident fortune teller at the monument, has seen the highs and lows in the frequency of tourist arrivals during the pre and post-COVID-19 era.
Now that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a statement indicating that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, Mbuya Mujena and many others, whose businesses thrive on high numbers of tourist arrivals, are relived and believe this will have a positive impact on their business.
She is also upbeat about the increasing number of not just international tourists but locals who have embraced domestic tourism.
“At the peak of COVID-19, business was really low. But now, we are back in business long back it’s the international tourists who would mostly come, but now we are realising even a lot of Zimbabweans are now coming here,” she said.
Mbuya Mujena is already witnessing a turnaround compared to the days when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak.
The large numbers of tourists currently visiting the monuments translate to better takings.
International tourists who were at the site when the ZBC News passed through were impressed with what they saw.
“I really wanted to travel around Africa and I decided to visit Zimbabwe. I first went to Victoria Falls but then you know, there’s more to see in Zimbabwe that the falls,” said a tourist.
Another said, “I’m from the UK originally. We are loving what we are seeing here. Great Zimbabwe is a place I’ve always wanted to be my whole life and I have finally made it.”
The government is also working to invest in local tourism resorts in areas like Binga, while the National Museums and Monuments has announced that it is entering into partnerships with private players to give a facelift to national monuments.