(Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by zimdaily)
HARARE – Zimbabwe despite housing some of the greatest wonders of the world, has failed to make it to the top 30 best African destinations. The country boasts of housing the mighty Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe, Kariba, Nyanga, Mana Pools, Hwange National Park, Chinhoyi Caves & many more, but still failed to make it to the top 30.
Meanwhile, tourism is Zimbabwe’s third largest sector after mining and agriculture and has the potential to play a significant role in Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.
Unfortunately, statistics from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) show that tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe fell by eleven percent in 2019, to 2.29 million from 2.57 million in 2018, due to destination image issues.
These were associated with the government’s crackdown on peaceful protests following the August 2018 elections and January 2019 stay-away demonstrations to protest an increase in fuel prices.
Most visitors came from within Africa and the Middle East while the country registered declines in arrivals from Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Asia.
The ZTA says the harsh macroeconomic climate and rapid inflation contributed to the country’s decline in hotel occupancy rate over the same period.
While statistics for 2020 are not yet available, the situation continued to deteriorate due to global reduction in international travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Available ZTA data shows that tourist arrivals declined from 639,356 in the first quarter of 2020 to just 65,882 in the first quarter of 2021.