Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has outlined strategic issues essential in post-Covid-19 tourism recovery drive at a time when international tourist arrivals into the country is projected to decline between 30 – 80%.
Presenting the Destination Zimbabwe Tourism Recovery draft Plan themed: “Supporting jobs, serving the national economy” at a workshop held in the capital, ZTA Acting Chief Executive Givemore 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. Domestic tourism currently contributes 30% to the total tourism receipts.
However, he singled out domestic tourism as key in post-COVID-19 tourism recovery efforts. The Tourism Recovery Plan seeks to provide relief packages to affected tourism businesses including small business within the tourism value chain, a soft landing for the tourism industry as they re-open their enterprises to the market and save and secure jobs from being lost in the tourism value chain.
To 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 and 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.
Also, to reassure the world source markets of their safety in various destinations and 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 forecasts a decline which may lead to the loss of between US$ 0.5 – 1.1 billion in tourism receipts. 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.