Newly appointed Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Chief Executive Winnie Muchanyuka says the US$5 billion tourism target can easily be surpassed if players in the sector pull together.
Zimbabwe is aiming to achieve a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025 driven by various initiatives that range from promoting domestic tourism as well as keeping a presence in key source markets while establishing new markets.
Most tourism facilities have been spruced up in the past two to five years in anticipation of the tourism boom.
Speaking at her official unveiling meeting, Muchanyuka applauded the work that has already been done by the authority and its stakeholders.
‘’The ZTA team has done exceptionally well and continues to do tremendous work towards growing the tourism industry. I pledge my support to the mandate given to me by the principal Honourable Minister Mangaliso Ndhlovu, the tourism minister and the US$5 billion tourism target he alluded to is not changing.
‘’In fact, we can surpass it. Zimbabwe needs to achieve a middle-income economy by 2030 and tourism plays a key role in achieving that goal.
‘’I am also looking forward to a close partnership with the media in telling the good story of this country. I am excited to be starting on this journey,’’ she said.
Tourism is one of the key pillars for the economic revival of the Second Republic together with mining and agriculture.
The government to make its intentions known for the tourism sector has thrown in a lot of incentives for the sector that range from tax breaks on the importation of capital equipment among other things.
Victoria Falls which is the main tourist attraction in Zimbabwe has been designated as a Free Economic Zone and a US dollar stock exchange was launched there.
Muchanyuka brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience to ZTA buoyed by her service in the aviation industry where she served as the country director for South Africa Airways.
She is also the immediate past president of the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe.
Tourism Minister Mangaliso Ndhlovu was full of praise for Muchanyuka adding that tourism was waiting for such an appointment.
‘’The appointment of Winnie Muchanyuka to the ZTA as CE is apt in that she is not a stranger to the tourism industry. The industry awaited such an appointment with comfort.
”There are high hopes for tourism amid clear signs of recovery in the sector. Statistically, the first quarter of 2022 has been quite promising and there is a need to maintain that trajectory,’’ he said.