THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says Zimbabwe should hold elections by March, warning that further delaying the polls would result in revenue losses for the industry players.
REPORT BY BERNARD MPOFU CHIEF BUSINESS REPORTER
President Robert Mugabe has been pushing for the holding of elections by March next year with or without necessary reforms as required by the GPA.
The elections would bring to an end the inclusive government formed in 2009 which has been credited with stabilising the county’s economy.
“Some hotels have lost $8 million of confirmed bookings that have been cancelled due to speculations, elections could be held in March,” ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said yesterday.
“If they are going to be held in June, there will be more cancellations and loss of revenue, that is the dilemma that we are in.
“That is why we are saying elections should be held in March so that everything gets back to normal.”
In his update on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly meeting set for Victoria Falls and Livingstone next year, Kaseke said hotels were fully booked for the festive season.
The Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry last week floated a tender to hire services of a professional organiser for
UNWTO conference to be held in August 2013. Zimbabwe and Zambia will co-host the tourism indaba that is expected to attract over 2 000 delegates.
As the countdown to the UNWTO conference continues, government is racing against time before the organisation’s international inspectors jet into the country next month to assess progress, three months after conducting a similar tour.
Speaking at the same press conference, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi said he would push Cabinet to enforce a directive compelling government bureaucrats to fly Air Zimbabwe after it recently resumed regional flights.
“All government bureaucrats fly other airlines other than Air Zimbabwe. Sometimes in life you have to crack the patriotic whip so that everyone flies Air Zim,” he said.
Mzembi singled out Mugabe for consistently using the troubled airline for the past 32 years. Kaseke last month said it was unfortunate that other airlines had been reaping benefits from the route all along with Zimbabwe getting nothing out of it.