Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi told The Zimbabwean in an exclusive interview this week that visa conditions for tourists should be relaxed and more international airlines should land in the country.
He said a regional UNIVISA would be the first initiative towards free movement of tourists across borders. “Tourism should be strategically positioned to contribute towards ZimAsset,” he said.
A pilot project will see Zimbabwe and Zambia introduce a UNIVISA. This will be extended to the Okavango-Zambezi, KAZA Transfrontier Wildlife Conservation Area countries, Angola, Botswana and Namibia – and later to the whole of SADC.
Mzembi described tourism as the only resilient industry that would survive economic recession, and said he expected the executive arm of government to fully appreciate and support efforts by his ministry.
He said high hopes for tourism growth were also based on the proposed integration of tourism development and marketing in the region. The Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa is expected to help establish strong working relations with the European Union Council for Tourism and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.
Visiting SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomna L Tax, said the region had a lot of tourism potential but its economic contribution remained very low.
The 2000 land “reform” exercise cost Zimbabwe 75 percent of its tourism as arrivals plummeted from 1. 4 million in 1999. As a result of political and social unrest, several airlines including Qantas, Lufthansa, KLM, Australian Airlines and British Airways suspended flights to ZimbabwePost published in: News