By Tichaona Kurewa
THE recent move by the United Kingdom to remove 11 countries including Zimbabwe from the travel red list has been welcomed by players in the local tourism industry as a major boost ahead of the festive season.
Local tourism players are confident the move will increase international tourists during the festive season and beyond with Europe being one of Zimbabwe’s major source market.
“We applaud the decision that was taken by the United Kingdom to put Zimbabwe and other ten countries on the green list after they had hastily put the whole region on the red list. For the purpose of 2022 planning it is good that we have been put on the green list and we are sure that we are going to compete quite well with other international destination in as far as 2022 is concerned,” said Clement Mukwasi, President 0f the Employers Association for Tours and Safari Operators.
The travel restrictions had a negative impact on economies that rely on tourism.
‘We all know that the traffic light system has not had any impact in terms of containing the omicron variant or restricting it to particular areas, so this came at the right time where the realisation that it did have a negative impact especially on economies that are serviced by tourism and travel becomes the key cog in facilitating arrivals into the country. So we certainly hope that this uplifting will also spread to any other country that had imposed travel restrictions of Southern African and Zimbabwe in particular,” commented Farai Chimba of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe.
Tourism is a major economic driver for resorts such as Victoria Falls, Kariba and the Eastern Highlands.
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