Investment in tourism sector grows

282

Harare (New Ziana) –Investments into the local tourism sector grew to US$142 million in 2021, up from US$86 million the previous year, as players splurged on new hotel, conference and dining facilities, key indications that despite serious operational challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the sector was making positive strides towards achieving a US$5 billion industry by 2025.

Tourism, which was adversely affected by Covid-19 lockdowns, is recovering well, on the back of government fiscal and policy support.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said, for example, major renovations were carried out at the Victoria Falls Rainbow, the Cresta Group of Hotels, and the Victoria Falls Hotel.

“Tourism investments increased from US$86 million in 2020 to US$142 million in 2021. Some notable investments being Palm River Hotel, Zambezi Boutique Guesthouse, and Nkosi Guest Lodge (Victoria Falls); Makhado in Beitbridge; and the Beethoven Hotel in Harare. Hot Plate Grill restaurants were opened throughout the country,” she said.

“A new 3 000 seater conferencing facility is under construction in Mutoko, while another 250 seater has been constructed at Village Hotel in Gweru.”

Mutsvangwa said on top of allowing tourism operators to retain 100 percent of their foreign earnings, the government had extended support under various facilities including a waiver of Value Added Tax on domestic tourism and duty exemption.

These, she said, helped improve access to tourism products and services by the domestic market through extended price reductions.

“A total of 117 applicants received tax rebates valued at US$11 301 721 in 2021, compared to the 81 applicants that received US$2 399 957 in 2020. The rebates were for capital goods and specified motor vehicles,” she said.

Mutsvangwa said the tourism industry, which had shed 9 000 jobs because of lockdowns, red listing and travel bans, was also being resuscitated through campaigns such as the ZimBho and the Visit Zimbabwe, while European based Zimbabwean footballers, such as Tino Kadewere and Marvellous Nakamba had been roped in as tourism ambassadors to market destination Zimbabwe.

The ZimBho domestic tourism campaign launched in 2020, she said, helped increase domestic entries into National Parks to 251 088 in 2021 compared to 173 714 in 2020.

To bolster the tourism recovery plan, Cabinet directed the expeditious gazetting of major water bodies including the Tugwi-Mukosi and Gwayi Shangani Dams as conservation and recreational parks to unlock investment potential.

“The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (should) work closely with that of Finance and Economic Development to come up with an effective financing plan that can complement the recovery of the tourism sector,” she said.
New Ziana

Comments are closed.