By Tichaona Kurewa
TOURISM stakeholders have lauded the government’s decision to re-open land borders, saying the move will boost various business activities, including the tourism industry.
Land borders were closed two years ago for the general public, negatively impacting various sectors of the economy, including tourism and informal traders, who rely on crossing borders in their business.
Victoria Falls-based tourism executive, Judith Dzimbanhete commended the government for re-opening borders, saying this will boost tourist arrivals, especially those from the region.
“It’s exciting news that land borders have been re-opened. This will boost tourist arrival especially the self-drive from the region. We are likely to witness an increase in business activities,” she said.
Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe Matabeleland North Representative, Sharon Stead, is equally excited.
“What we see now is an end to the pandemic era. It has been two hard years for tourism especially for that staff that has been laid off. This means that staff can be re-employed now. The re-opening of borders will encourage tourists to come to our destination again. So, we welcome the news,” said Stead.
Informal traders, taxi drivers and vendors from both Zimbabwe and Zambia have praised the latest development.
“We will no longer need the service of middlemen to buy us goods for resale across the borders. We are now able to go on our own and choose what we want at the actual price, not the inflated prices we are given by middlemen. This will certainly boost business, but the government must remove the COVID-19 PCR test requirement. We have been vaccinated and let’s work with vaccination cards only. We thank Government for re-opening of land borders,” said a vendor.
Land borders were closed following the outbreak of Covid-19 as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic.