Zim among leaders in reducing tourist restrictions

ZIMBABWE has been ranked among the world’s top 30 countries that have made strides in reducing restrictions on free movement of tourists in the past seven years.


The 157-member United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has ranked Zimbabwe 29th out of the 54 countries deemed to have made progress towards relaxing visa restrictions on tourists, according to the international Visa Openness Report for 2015.

“Overall, 54 destinations significantly facilitated travel for citizens of 30 or more countries by changing their visa policies from visa required to eVisa, visa on arrival, or no visa required,” the UNWTO said.

“These 54 destinations took a total of 6 357 individual measures, presenting 86% of all improvements made between 2010 and 2015. This demonstrates that destinations, when reviewing their visa policies, tend to thoroughly review and introduce changes.”

According to the report, Zimbabwe implemented a total of 117 reforms that made it easy for tourists to visit the country during the period under review.


Meanwhile, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi has also received plaudits for “providing strong leadership” in the UNWTO regional commission for Africa, and setting the tourism agenda for mainstreaming in the African Union Agenda 2063.

Mzembi, the UNWTO regional chairperson for Africa, is currently attending the 60th edition of Fitur and Investor in Madrid, Spain, along with other ministers from across the continent.

Ghana’s Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts minister, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, paid tribute to Zimbabwe for leading the fight to rebrand the African tourism sector.

“You have done us proud and a good job in delivering what we have been waiting for so long. We support you and want to see an additional commission established to superintend our tourism sector, biodiversity and aviation issues as they are interconnected to the tourism economy,” Ofosu-Adjare said.

Her comments were echoed by ministers from the Seychelles, Zambia’s permanent secretary in the ministry of Tourism and officials from other countries.

Mzembi was then given mandate to meet with the African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma to impress upon the continental body to create a separate commission support tourism policy.

6 Responses to Zim among leaders in reducing tourist restrictions

  1. Tourist January 25, 2016 at 7:44 am #

    Free movement is not enough to earn foreign exchange from tourists. Zimbabwe is now the most expensive tourist destination in the SADC region due to high cost of living, over valued USD and high Hotel tax. Most of us tourists will come and see Victoria Falls and stay in Livingstone on the Zambian side. With my USD I get more value in Zambia,South Africa etc so why come and stay in Zimbabwe?

  2. vivian v siziba January 25, 2016 at 8:01 am #

    Sounds like a step in the right direction, but still there is a lot be done that rank standing isn’t good enough.

  3. Annabel Gerry January 25, 2016 at 9:49 am #

    What a load of crap.
    Anybody visiting Zimbabwe must be crazy.
    The police invent the “law” as it suits them.
    The roads are a death trap.
    Extortion, rape and theft are common place.
    All prices are grossly inflated.
    Your camera will be confiscated just for having one.
    Zimbabwe is the most corrupt in the continent.

    • Zim visitor January 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

      Thank you for telling I’m crazy Annabel. However, I have avoided invented police laws (which I don’t deny exist), survived the roads, haven’t been extorted raped or stolen from, I’ve found it cheaper than the UK and haven’t had any cameras confiscated in 4 visits over recent years. If you know how to handle different “cultures” it is still a great place to visit.

      • Former Rhodesian Schoolboy! January 28, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

        Well said,Mike..points well made!!

  4. ziso January 25, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    the minister is trying beyond his capabilities

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