ZIMBABWE has lagged behind in many areas as a result of the global isolation for the past 18 years due to errors of the past, Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira has said.
Mupfumira said this has undeniably left Zimbabwe’s once-rich sectors in a complete state of disrepair and disarray.
By Wisdom Mdzungairi in BERLIN
“The tourism industry used to receive a contribution of more than 35% from the overseas market in the 1990s when tourism was at its peak and this contribution has since dropped to less than 10% of the international arrivals to Zimbabwe,” she said.
But faced with these and other challenges, Mupfumira said, the roadmap Zimbabwe has been taking during President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 100-day targets has seen the government commit itself to reversing the legislation constraining incoming business and easing the way of doing business.
“To this end, focus has been put on dissolving the risks that were inhibiting investment to Zimbabwe such as the dense and inefficient bureaucracies, corruption, particularly in the police force, and infrastructural dilapidation,” she said.
Mupfumira spoke as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and tourism industry leaders said indications were that global tourism was booming, as unprecedented numbers of international travellers propel the industry to new heights.
It’s a phenomenal success as has been reflected in the German market, which is on course for another record-breaking year in 2018 following a strong performance last year.
German Travel Association president (DRV) Norbert Fiebig said: “Around the world, there is a growing desire for travel and globally we are on course for a record year in tourism again.”
Fiebig was speaking at the 52nd International Travel Bourse in Berlin (ITB Berlin), which opened on Wednesday.
ITB Berlin mirrors the global tourism industry.
Fiebig referred to increased demand among holidaymakers for Namibia, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, all of which are enjoying a comeback this year.
“Germans are the world champions of travel,” German Tourism Industry Federation president Michael Frenzel said.
Such optimism provided a buoyant backdrop to this year’s ITB Berlin, which was opened by Merkel, whose constituency falls within the region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the ITB partner region for 2018.