No takers for $15m RBZ tourism facility

The $15 million Tourism Revival Fund facility availed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to prop up the collapsing industry has been lying idle with the industry’s players unaware of its existence, an executive with the bank has said.

BY NUNURAI JENA

Last month, RBZ launched the facility to help the tourism sector renew its product and entice new players.

RBZ deputy director for financial markets William Manimanzi told participants at the National Tourism Sector Strategic Consultative workshop held at Chinhoyi University of Technology yesterday that there were no takers for the facility.

“The RBZ availed a loan facility of $15 million for players in the tourism sector that was meant to be disbursed through commercial banks. Unfortunately there were no takers. May be this was due to lack of publicity by associations in the tourism sector,” Manimanzi said to the surprise of the stakeholders present.

The loan facility, which is demand-driven, attracts an interest rate of 7,5%, repayable within 12 months with a capital expenditure of 36 months.

“We have joined Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and hotel and leisure industry players to publicise and market this facility. Additional funding will be availed once this facility is exhausted,” Manimanzi added.

The workshop, held under the theme, Unlocking the Development Potential of the Tourism Economy, was meant to come out with a strategic plan for the recovery of the tourism sector and usher tourism as an economic driver.

The workshop was officially opened on behalf of Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Priscah Mupfumira by Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Webster Shamu.

The sector in Zimbabwe is expected to grow by more than 20% in 2018, thereby surpassing the annual global tourism growth and regional growth forecast of 4–5% and 5,5% respectively.

Tourism experts said the envisaged positive performance of the tourism industry in Zimbabwe is expected to hinge on factors such as regional tourism growth trends, the new Victoria Falls Airport, improved destination image, new airlines, continued marketing efforts and destination awareness and improvement in the service delivery.


3 Comments

  1. The RBZ could do more by engaging relevant stakeholders before launch of such initiatives. If they do this, then there will be acceptance and awareness of such funds! Having these funds lying idle is simply unacceptable especially when everyone needs to pull in the same direction! Hopefully the apex bank will review how they are designing their programmes especially those that seek to help the business sector. Consult widely and launch programmes which are collectively owned by all stakeholders.

  2. ZTA or Tourism ministry have deliberately not advertised those funds to real tourism players and stakeholders they earmarked for other purposes – corruption. The workshops they are doing are attended by politicians and CIO operatives who masquarade as tourism ‘experts’ these are the same lads who mislead government by eg pitching tourism growth for this year at 20% when regionally its at 5%. 80% of international arrivals come through SA making it almost a source market.

  3. This revelation is a sign showing how broken the govt “system” is. We hear everyday proclamations that “Zimbabwe is open for business” when on the ground the offices to facilitate such are closed manned by “officials” twiddling their fingers and scratching their huge bums. I am so tired of politicians who still think they are intelligent when they are leading the country and economy deeper into the ground. When will the hypocrisy end?

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