THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is aiming to achieve an annual growth rate of between 30 and 50% in terms of arrivals, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
ZTA chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke, told NewsDay that the country lost vast opportunities between 2000 and 2010, which it should recover.
“In the first quarter, the tourism industry performed better. We are now looking at the first half and projections are saying the first half will be better than last year. We think any percentage increase that is below 30% for us will not take us anywhere,” Kaseke said.
In the first quarter of 2016, Zimbabwe recorded a 16% rise in tourist arrivals to 450 572 from 387 557 during the same period in 2015.
“We must be having an annual growth rate of between 30% and 50% in terms of our arrivals and that is what we aiming at. Anything less than that, we are doomed because we lost a lot of opportunities between 2000 and 2010,” he said.
“We lost a lot of opportunities and we must recover. Any percentage in terms of our tourism growth which is less than 30% is not very helpful.”
Recently, Kaseke told NewsDay that tourist arrivals in Zimbabwe were estimated to reach over 2,2 million by the close of 2017 and over 2,5 million by 2020, a development in line with global trends projecting tourism to be the fastest growing economic sector internationally.
He said the sector generated an estimated $819 million in revenue in 2016 and is estimated to contribute 10,9% to the gross domestic product.
Kaseke said the numerous police check points and roadblocks have for a long time tarnished the country’s image, as they project a negative security situation.