02 Sep 2021
Zimbabwe is hoping the tourism sector will receive a boost from the comparatively successful coronavirus vaccine rollout, during the local Tourism Month in September.
Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Nqobizitha Ndlovu said the administration would make the most of the boost in confidence from the positive vaccine campaign to attract more tourists.
"We look forward to a change in fortunes in the third quarter of this year and beyond based on the strides made in the global vaccination campaign and our own efforts to make Zimbabwe a safe travel destination," Ndlovu said.
Zimbabwe’s government has acquired more than 12 million vaccines out of the 20 million target, as it looks to inoculate 10 million people in order to reach herd immunity.
The Tourism Month theme for 2021 is ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ with the national event taking place in Bindura, Mashonaland Central.
"In view of the foregoing, I call upon the tourism industry in its entirety to use this year's celebrations to showcase the various ways that their tourism businesses can and have promoted inclusive growth and changed livelihoods," Ndlovu went on to say.
Tourism is key to the recovery and growth of Zimbabwe’s economy, as highlighted in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) government blueprint:
"Inclusive growth is central to the target set out in NDS1 hence this year's celebrations present us with an opportunity to reaffirm the need to grow our tourism inclusively without leaving anyone behind," Ndlovu added.
A tourism symposium and innovation expos will also be held within the Tourism Month, aiming to attract as many visitors to the country as possible. At its peak, Zimbabwe received over 2.5 million tourists per year, whereas arrivals to the country declined by 11% to 2,294 million in 2019.
These visitor numbers dropped further last year by 74% and an additional 72% in the first half of this year due to the pandemic.