Story By Stanley James, Business Editor
PROJECTS worth US$300 million were implemented in Zimbabwe’s tourism sector during the just-ended year, with new facilities dominating investments.
A Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) report released this Friday shows that local and foreign investments increased in the tourism industry after the removal of global COVID-19 restrictions.
“The tourism industry had previously been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which lead to travel restrictions being put in place in many countries, a total of US$300 million was poured in on investment within the sector with new facilities in restaurants, hotels, lodges, safaris, game parks dominating,” said Winnie Muchanyuka, ZTA’s CEO.
A rise in hotel average occupancy rates coupled with growth in foreign receipts has also positioned the sector towards growth.
“The refurbishment of facilities is also ongoing to such an extent that we anticipate the move to augur well for the industry,” said Wengayi Nhau, president of the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe.
International arrivals increased by 256 percent in 2022, while visitors from Africa rose by 130 percent.
“This is an industry which is poised to play an important role in overall economic development such that the latest initiatives are a step in the right direction for recovery,” said Ignatious Matungamire, president of the Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents.
The ZTA data shows that domestic tourism is also on the rise after an average 86 percent room occupancy rate in the resort areas during the festive season.