TOURISM players from Mashonaland West province have rapped the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) for charging “exorbitant” operating fees and concentrating its activities in Harare at the expense of outlying areas.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting at Chinhoyi Training Centre yesterday, hotel, boat and fishery operators from the province also accused the ZTA of “killing the tourism sector” by failing to promote local tourism and ignoring small players.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy minister Retired Brigadier-General Walter Kanhanga concurred saying the tourism sector was on a downward slide due to many factors.
“Kariba is a gold mine, but we have failed, all our efforts by visiting China and the United Kingdom have yielded very little returns, the response has also been minimal,” said Kanhanga
The operators urged the ZTA to hold some of its events in resort areas like Kariba and Nyanga to market the resorts.
Lodge operator James Chivhere said: “The ZTA has let us down by not advertising and educating citizens on the benefit of visiting other resort areas like Kariba. Their packaging is poor. For example, very few people know that there is a crocodile farm in Mazvikadei. Places like Chinhoyi Caves are not being advertised enough.”
Voster Masheredzwana of Glory Lodge said the mushrooming of unregistered lodges was pushing them out of business.
“The business is very tough as we are required to pay institutions like NSSA, Zimra, NEC, ZTA, Zimura and ZBC and the labour laws force us to pay mandatory salaries and this leaves us with nothing to show for our businesses,” said Voster