Statistics for domestic tourism are still low and there is a need to redouble efforts, says Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy Minister Barbara Rwodzi during the launch of the Satellite Tourism Account (SAT).
Zimbabwe launched the domestic tourism campaign Zimbho to counter the loss of international tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions.
COVID-19 which was reported in the last months of 2019 into the early months of 2020 saw most destinations institution travel bans to minimise and control possible risk.
Tourism was the most affected when both the source market and the destinations instituted these bans.
Although Zimbho has recorded some positives, they are however still very low to drive the sector into a US$5 billion industry by 2025.
As of 2018, the tourism economy was estimated at US$1 964 592 880.
Also, the country has witnessed a decline in tourist arrivals from 2 294 259 in 2019 to 630 369 in 2020. The negative trend further continued in 2021 as arrivals suffered a further downfall of 40% to 375 799.
Speaking at the launch of the TSA, Rwodzi said efforts need to be doubled and that everyone has a role to play.
‘’In addition, the TSA also identified the consumption of domestic tourism statistics, and as the government of Zimbabwe, we are cognisant of the low consumption of domestic tourism, and we need to do more to champion increased internal tourism.
‘’Working together with the private sector and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) we must redouble efforts to promote domestic tourism under our Zimbho Domestic Tourism Campaign in a manner that takes everyone on board.
‘’And let me add on to say Zimbho campaign has raised our numbers for domestic tourism, and we will continue working hard on that front,’’ she said.
According to some economic analysts, locals find it hard to play a role in domestic tourism due to the unfair pricing regime. They also argue that the country’s tourism sector was made with foreigners in mind.