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AfricaCorona VirusZimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Partial relaxation of lockdown excites tourism sector

By Almot Maqolo

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Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has welcomed the partial relaxation of lockdown regulations by government for the tourism and hospitality sector, whereby it can now carefully and safely resume limited operations. The sector was not spared from the effects of Covid-19.

Restaurants are now be allowed to serve sit-in meals at 50 percent of the restaurant’s sitting capacity. Also, requests for variations of operating conditions in respect of restaurant operators and to re-open safari operators for local hunting only and national parks were granted.

“The tourism industry is extremely excited about the development, which is a great stride towards opening of the tourism sector. We acknowledge the efforts by the authorities and indeed the nation to keep the spread of Covid-19 under check and thank the Almighty for his watchful eye over our nation,” ZTA acting chief executive Givemore Chidzidzi said.

The southern African nation has already availed a Z$500 million bank guarantee facility to help the tourism and hospitality sector survive the slump and prepare for recovery. The facility is meant to assist the tourism sector access working capital loans from banks and insulate their businesses from the effects of the pandemic.

“The development will stimulate domestic tourism activity as we anxiously expect regional and international traffic to be allowed. Our work is cut out for us as we have to ensure excellent service provision under the approved guidelines and strict protocols.”

Chidzidzi added that: “The sector is ready and everyone cannot wait to start operating under the new conditions.”

The global travel and tourism sector was the first area of economic activity to be hit by the Covid-19 crisis, with traveler figures dwindling significantly as countries across the globe, Zimbabwe among them, imposed lockdowns.


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