HomeNews‘Tourism needs structured financing to rehabilitate’

‘Tourism needs structured financing to rehabilitate’

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THE tourism sector needs structured financing to rehabilitate, re-tool and re-kit the infrastructure to enhance its competitiveness, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi has said.

BUSINESS REPORTER

“This enhances our competitiveness in meeting international standards demand by our clientele,” Mzembi said at a seminar on tourism investment at the United Nations in New York on Monday.

He said there was need for partnerships in terms of sustainable tourism marketing and promotion, and investment in the tourism business.

“We are open for business in this instance. In the case of Zimbabwe, we are offering to investors huge opportunities to partner with us in tourism infrastructure development at favourable conditions. One piece of land is on offer at the majestic Victoria Falls and two pieces of land we acquired in Harare,” he said.

The seminar was organised by the Spanish Permanent Mission to the UN together with Casa África, Spain’s main public diplomacy institution dedicated to the African continent, and Real Instituto Elcano, one of the most prestigious think-tanks.

It was attended by ambassadors accredited to the UN and business executives from the United States and Spain.

Mzembi said tourism on the continent was on a positive growth trajectory with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation saying its potential remains greatly promising with its current performance at 4%.

He said Africa endeavours to grow this figure to double digit by 2020 riding on the back of diverse tourism product offering.

“In the Sadc region through Retosa [Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa], we are working collectively to boost arrivals. The region initiated a number of programmes towards integrated product development and packaging, for example, the concept of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (Kaza),” he said.

Kaza has five countries — Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.

Mzembi said Zimbabwe and Zambia were at an advanced stage to launch a UNIVISA project, and “the peace and stability that prevails in the Sadc region has given the region a clean bill of travel to our countries, hence sustainable growth is expected through boosting arrivals and receipts into our economies”.

Mzembi said Zimbabwe had given tourism players some incentives such as tax exemptions on capital goods and equipment imported for the purposes of re-tooling and re-kitting both infrastructure and superstructure.

“We have also created a Special Purpose Vehicle within the Ministry of Tourism called Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company Pvt Ltd for purposes of spearheading tourism development,” he said.

“We are warehousing land for tourism investment in our lucrative destinations such as Victoria Falls where we are inviting the interest of investors who want to partner with us to exploit our lucrative tourism markets.”

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