The Zimbabwe tourism sector could lose between US$0.5 -1.1 billion in tourism revenue due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown across the globe.
The widespread of the coronavirus has crippled most economies around the world but tourism has been hard hit as tourist remain grounded.
Zimbabwe has not been spared as the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority estimates that international tourist arrivals s could decline by 70-80% if the current state of affairs persists.
“Zimbabwe international tourist arrivals could decline by between 70-87%. As a result, the decline is estimated to lead to a loss of between US$0.5 -1.1 billion in tourism revenues. The country has been receiving between 2.2 and 2.6 million visitors from 2017 to 2019,” said Givemore Chidzidzi, the ZTA Acting Chief Executive.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimates that in 2020 global international tourist arrivals could decline between 60-80%.
The decline is estimated to lead losses of between US$910 Billion -US$ 1.2 Trillion in spending by international visitors globally
However, yesterday the government announced the partial resumption of the tourism and hospitality sector albeit under tight and careful regulations.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting that “in the tourism and hospitality sector, requests for variations of operating conditions in respect of restaurant operators, and to reopen safari operators for local hunting only and national parks were granted.”
In response, the ZTA said the move saying it will stimulate domestic growth.
“The tourism industry is extremely excited about the development, which is a great stride towards the opening of the tourism sector. We acknowledge the efforts by the authorities and indeed the nation to keep the spread of COVID-19 under check and thank the Almighty for his watchful eye over our nation.
The development will stimulate domestic tourism activity as we anxiously expect regional and international traffic to be allowed,” said Chidzidzi.
He noted that the sector will adhere to the stipulated guidelines.
“Our work is cut out for us as we have to ensure excellent service provision under the approved guidelines and strict protocols. The sector is ready and everyone cannot wait to start operating under the new conditions,” Chidzidzi added.