3 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Tourism Draft Plan Finalised

Madrid — Zimbabwe has finalised the drafting of a Tourism Master Plan (TMP) that is expected to double tourist arrivals and increase the sector's economic contribution by 2015, a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) official has said.

The draft follows wide consultations between UNWTO and the Zimbabwean government, with the final document expected to be launched before the country co-hosts the UNWTO general assembly with Zambia in August this year.

Harsh Varma, the UNWTO technical cooperation and services director, told Standardbusiness after a closed door meeting with Tourism minister Walter Mzembi in Madrid last week that Zimbabwe's proposed TMP is expected to adopt a fast-track strategy that would see arrivals grow to 5 million in 2015 from the current 2,2 million.

"We also expect tourism to grow from 9,1% of gross domestic product in 2012 to more than 15% by 2015," Varma said.

In terms of job creation, the Varma said, the sector should subsequently create 150 000 new jobs and reach 450 000 jobs compared to the current 300 000.

The TMP is expected to see Zimbabwe becoming a standalone and competitive international tourism destination.

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