ENVIRONMENT,Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has revealed that 2018 arrival statistics have shown that Zimbabwe has broken its highest number of arrivals that was recorded in 1999.
In 2018, Zimbabwe received about 2.6 million arrivals compared to the 2.2 million recorded in 1999 which had been the peak for some time.
This growth in arrival figures is an indication that marketing efforts being employed by government through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) are bearing fruit.
ZTA has been on an aggressive marketing campaign that includes attending travel shows, meetings and conferences, appointing tourism ambassadors, maintaining digital presents, setting up marketing offices in foreign countries, hosting events such as Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel Expo and the Harare International Carnival among others.
Addressing the media, Minister Mupfumira 2018 was a record breaking year for the sector in terms of arrivals and sector contribution to the fiscus adding that this trend must be continued going forward.
“The year 2018 was a magnificent record breaking year both on arrivals and sector contribution to the fiscus the total tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe reached 2.6 million which is 6 percent up from 2017 but this jump surpasses the record year which is 1999 where the peak was 2.2 million and that was our record.
“And we are saying last year we had 2.6 million so we have surpassed the record and so my challenge to our industry is we want to continue on an upward increase we have already broken the record of 1999 and we want to continue with the good work you are doing,” she said.
With regard to tourism’s contribution to the fiscus, Mupfumira revealed that the sector contributed about $1.5 billion in receipts generated from arrivals by both foreigners and locals.
“Yes we hit the billion-mark last year (2018) with foreign arrivals and if we include our own local arrivals we are talking of almost $1.5 billion which is our contribution to the fiscus,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira said tourism figures will be higher if proper accounting is done adding that there are duties that are earned because of tourism but are not counted to tourism.
“I am sure our figure will be much higher than that we all know that when a tourist comes through the airport or whatever port they go through the issue of taxes, transport, issue of food, employment, the wages which you pay to all those people working in the industry those need to be all accounted for as our contribution to GDP.
“I am saying our figures are high than what we are reporting and we want to be recognised as a key player, an important pillar of our economic recovery and we just need the confidence you have shown and the commitment and we as government we will continue to facilitate and make sure that your challenges are addressed by government,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Mupfumira has indicated that a lot has been happening in the tourism sector especially in 2018 and urged investors to continue investing in the country.
“A lot has been happening in the industry this year (2018) there were a lot of investments and developments most and some by local participants, local companies and international companies and we continue to launch a new product almost every month, the demand is high unfortunately there is one minister and one perm secretary and they want us to go and officiate at the launch of the marvellous products they have,” said.