Published on : Saturday, February 18, 2017
Trade analysts have warned that the tourism sector of Zimbabwe is unlikely to grow this year and there are lots of factors hindering its growth. Tourism is one of the industries projected to support the recovery of the country’s struggling economy. As an aftermath of a decade of decline, accelerated largely by price controls and flawed exchange rates, the wildlife of the country although bustling with animals are failing to attract high-spending international tourists. This is a huge blow for the country’s tourism industry.
Problems in payment system, insufficient air and road connectivity, flight delays, poor service in many outlets and a weak rail transportation system are the major stumbling blocks in the Zimbabwean tourism sector. Epidemic scare has made matters even worse.
Epidemic outbreaks could scare foreign tourists away at a time when Zimbabwe is working to improve foreign currency earnings through increased international tourist arrivals.
Also, the mining sector is affected, which contributes about 40% of the country’s export receipts. Economists said urgent measures are needed to stop the crisis. An important factor that has undermined the tourism sector of Zimbabwe is the 15% value added tax (VAT) charged on foreign tourists, which came into effect since 2015, although it was opposed by tourism minister Dr. Mzembi. Zimbabwe is now one of the most expensive places in the region.