Mutare — Zimbabwe is developing a roadmap to grow the tourism sector to a US$6 billion industry by 2023 in tandem with the Transitional Stabilization Plan, a top government official has said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality, Munesuishe Munodawafa who was speaking at the Hospitality of Zimbabwe annual general meeting said the strategic roadmap will be tailored to mirror the Vision 2030 strategy which is anchored on growing the economy into an Upper Middle-Income Country status.
He urged tourism sector players to come up with industry specific ease of doing business strategic action plans.
"The TSP, economic resuscitation program launched in October 2018 and runs through to 2023 provide the framework of economic development it's very important that as a sector we generate much needed foreign currency, employment creation and resuscitation of downstream industries.
"The hospitality sector provides or presents itself as one of the low hanging fruits for economic recovery and international visitors are key to the positive image of our destination.
"The Ministry is putting together a tourism road map document which takes us to 2023 and we have aligned it to the life of the TSP, where we are calling ourselves and private players into achieving a US$6 billion per year tourism economy.
"What stops us from doing that? If you look at the odds they are in our favor but sometimes we don't see it, the CNN recently listed Victoria Falls as one of the top must visit tourist destinations," said Munodawafa.
"Big international brands are listing Zimbabwe as a tourist destination, the world is taking us seriously we need to start taking ourselves seriously too, the opportunities we get from those listings are so immense but we need to do certain things right."
Munodawafa said the tourism sector should be proactive in coming up with innovative solutions for the sector including coming with a strategic committee on the ease of doing business.
However, Munodawafa lamented the Ministry's allocation in the 2020 budget statement as insufficient to meet diverse needs of the ministry including facilitating servicing traditional international markets.
He said previously the Ministry had been allocated ZWL$68 million in the 2020 budget statement, which has since been reviewed upwards to ZWL$385 million, after consultations.
"One of the things that we need to do together is to just look at the way we do business, as the tourism industry we need to constitute a team on the ease of doing business for the sector and see how we can improve ourselves.
"Yes, the amount that we got the three hundred plus million, may not be sufficient for what we want to do but given the current budgetary constraints that we are facing,
"With the budget that we have now with the analysis that we have done is that we will not have excuses for not preforming although there will be limitations particularly on international marketing efforts.
"We are not shedding tears with what we have but we can assure that with what we have there will be change in the tourism sector, our role as government is to be a facilitator and if we are clear with our role the amount that we got should be able to take us somewhere," said Munodawafa.