ZTA optimistic of industry bounce-back after Covid-19

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is confident of a bounce back by the country’s tourism sector in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak that saw a drastic dip in business due to cancellation of trips by international travellers.

ZTA acting chief executive Givemore Chidzidzi said Monday a number of initiatives which include investment in human capital and service excellence have been put in place in efforts to reboot the lucrative sector.

The ZTA boss said his organisation was working on a tourism recovery strategy which encompassed views of a cross-section of the industry with a view to preparing itself for recovery post-Covid-19.

Tourism in Zimbabwe and the rest of the world was severely hit by Covid-19 with almost all operators and hoteliers closing business.

Thousands of jobs have also been lost and these include those in downstream industries.

In Zimbabwe particularly, operators had not recognised domestic tourism because of low returns from local clients.

In an effort to position the sector for post-Covid-19, government and industry players are seeking ways of capacitating operators to salvage business and save jobs.

Chidzidzi said the sector remains optimistic of a bounce back.

“The aim is to develop an integrated approach to service excellence in the tourism sector.

“We have to rationalise our efforts and develop a way of doing things that will guide service excellence in the sector and create an enabling environment for developing a positive customer service culture,” said Chidzidzi.

He said ZTA, industry and the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) had partnered to host a service excellence training video conference on Wednesday as one of the initiatives to capacitate human capital.

The Webinar is targeting all tourism operators and interested parties should register by sending an email providing persona and organisation details

The conference is part of critical pillars of putting into practice the three-phased recovery plan which will be focusing on domestic, regional and international source markets.

GLS country director, Harold Chilowa said provision of exceptional customer experience in the tourism sector needs a coordinated approach.

“An exceptional service excellence culture will not come by accident,” he said.

“It will come by design and time investment in learning from industry experts.

“This is why we have decided to bring the best pair of hands in hospitality service excellence expertise in the form of Horst Schulze.”

Schulze, who in 1991 was recognized as a corporate hotelier of the world by Hotels Magazine, is the founder and chairman of the prestigious Capella Hotel Group with a chain of hotels, resorts, spas and residential properties in various countries.