Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Priscah Mupfumira is pushing for affordable rates of tourism products and services, to boost domestic tourism as part of the 100 days action plan.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Mupfumira said the country’s domestic tourism had been characterised by low participation of locals in leisure tourism, expensive product offering and lack of affordable domestic packages.
“Zimbabwe has given limited recognition to the very important contribution of the domestic tourism market to the growth and development of the economy. While we acknowledge that the disposable income of our people is very low, it is disheartening to note that our attractions are out of reach to residents, where these attractions are located. The locals should have an opportunity to at least experience tourism products within their vicinity,” she said.
Mupfumira said the thrust of the domestic tourism campaign would be centred on intensifying awareness of the country’s tourist destinations and rejuvenate information centres, among others.
“The main objectives of the domestic tourism campaign are to initiate affordable rates of tourism products and services to the local market, co-ordinate the development of affordable domestic packages,” she said.
Campaigns for domestic tourism are capable of yielding results, as evidenced by South Africa, which in 2013 pushed for the initiative, resulting into 43 million trips generating $5,1 billion in 2016.
China’s domestic tourism generated 4,8 billion trips, resultantly generating $681 billion in 2017.
Domestic tourism accounts for 83% of global tourism, generating over
$4,8 billion per year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.
In the first nine months of 2017, the country received 1 726 247 in arrivals, 12% up from 1 538 905 received during the same period in 2016.
In 2016, arrivals were 2 167 686, which was 5% up from 2 056 588 received in 2015.
Zimbabwe, which has been suffering from isolation during former President Robert Mugabe’s era, is poised to see an increase in tourist arrivals this year amid renewed confidence in the new administration.