Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s Acting Chief Executive Mr Givemore Chidzidzi has outlined strategic issues essential in post-Covid-19 tourism recovery drive.
Presenting the Destination Zimbabwe Tourism Recovery draft Plan themed: “Supporting jobs, serving the national economy” at a workshop in Harare this week, Mr Chidzidzi said the plan outlines measures to be undertaken by Government, the tourism industry and stakeholders to address the negative effects of the COVID-19 on the tourism sector.
“The decline in international arrivals in Africa was less than 10% whereas overseas markets had a decline of more than 10% with Asia and Europe both experiencing a 20% decline. Middle East however had an increase of 20%,” he said.
Mr Chidzidzi said domestic tourism currently contributes 30% to the total tourism receipts.
Mr Chidzidzi, however, singled out domestic tourism as 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 business within the tourism value chain.
• Provide a soft landing for the tourism industry as they re-open their enterprises to the market.
• Save and secure jobs from being lost in the tourism value chain.
• Re-establish contact with the local, regional and international tourism market.
• Reassure confidence in the marketplace and encourage visitors to travel to and within Zimbabwe thereby boosting tourist arrivals and tourism revenue.
• Rollout campaigns informing the marketplace that Zimbabwe’s tourism business is back.
Against this backdrop, UNWTO has recommended measures for tourism recovery post COVID-19 pandemic which include:
• Financial and political support for recovery measures targeting the tourism sector in the most affected countries
• Recovery measures and incentives to be planned and implemented in coordination with international development and donor organizations
• Tourism support to be included in the wider recovery plans and actions of affected economies.
• As in the past, UNWTO will provide guidance and support for recovery measures of its members, the private and public tourism sector, including organizers of tourism events and fairs.
• To reassure the world source markets of their safety in various destinations.
• To reassure the world source markets that tourism destinations will welcome them back.
The UNWTO estimates that in 2020 global international tourist arrivals could decline between 20 – 30%. Zimbabwe international tourist arrivals could decline between 30 – 80%. According to UNWTO, the decline is estimated to lead to loss of between US$30 – 50 billion in spending by international visitors (international tourism receipts) globally.
Zimbabwe forecasts a decline which may lead to the loss of between US$ 0.5 – 1.1 billion in tourism receipts.