By Matabeleland North Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is drafting a‘destination Zimbabwe tourism recovery plan’ whose purpose will be to facilitate the recovery of the tourism sector post Covid-19.
This comes as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) estimates that in 2020, global international tourist arrivals could decline between 20% and 30% with international tourist arrivals in Zimbabwe declining between 30% and 80%, making a loss of between US$0.5 and US$1.1 billion in tourism receipts.
The tourism industry has been one of the worst-hit sectors by the coronavirus outbreak with hotels and operators falling to zero business resulting in workers being sent home.
Acting ZTA chief executive Givemore Chidzidzi said the tourism sector needs a soft landing for it to be able to reopen.
With international travel under lockdown, local tourism, as it is in other countries, will have to bank its recovery on domestic tourism which was over the years being undermined.
Chidzidzi said domestic tourism can contribute 30% to the total tourism receipts.
“Domestic tourism is key in post Covid-19 tourism recovery efforts. The Tourism Recovery Plan seeks, to among other things, provide relief packages to affected tourism businesses including small businesses within the tourism value chain, save and secure jobs from being lost in the tourism value chain and reestablish contact with the local, regional and international tourism markets,” said Chidzidzi.
He was speaking after presenting the draft plan themed: “Supporting jobs, serving the national economy” in Harare.
The plan guides the government, the tourism industry and other stakeholders on what measures each should take to address the negative effects of the Covid-19 on the tourism sector.
“The draft plan will re-assure confidence in the marketplace and encourage visitors to travel to and within Zimbabwe thereby boosting tourist arrivals and tourism revenue.”
ZTA plans to roll-out campaigns to market Zimbabwe’s tourism and reassure source markets that destination Zimbabwe remains a choice and it survived the Covid-19 pandemic.