Russia/Ukraine war impacting on Zimbabwean tourism sector -Tour operators

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Mutare (New Ziana)- The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is impacting negatively on efforts to revive the tourism sector from the effects of Covid-19, as tourists from the two countries are not able to travel, an expert has said.

Employers Association for Tours and Safari Operators (EATSO) president Clement Mukwasi said most tourists who engaged in trophy hunting came from Russia.

“Tourism is divided into categories thus consumptive and non-consumptive tourism. Consumptive is mainly hunting while non consumptive is mainly activities such as photography without killing,” he said.

“Russians mainly come for the consumptive tourism, and thy are not coming because of the conflict. In the history of our industry, Russians have been our major market. Because of sanctions on their country, Russians are not able to travel and make payments outside their country.”

Mukwasi said besides tourists from Russia and Ukraine, visitors from countries surrounding the two nations such as Poland and German, had also limited their travelling.

He said the conflict had also affected their pricing model and access to consumables required in the industry.

“Because of the conflict the supply of fuel is constricted, and this pushed prices of commodities up, including food that we order for tourists. We also do a lot of printing in the sector, and we can’t access newsprint because we order from South Africa and Ukraine,” he said, adding most of agricultural consumables were coming from Ukraine and being packaged elsewhere.

The Russian/Ukraine conflict has spawned a surge in global food prices as well as disrupting world markets and supply chains.
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