Multi-sectoral approach vital to tap World Cup benefits’

Ndamu Sandu

ZIMBABWE Council of Tourism (ZCT) president Paul Matamisa says the Environment and Tourism ministry should adopt a multi-sectoral approach to realise the benefits of World Cup 2010 in South Afric

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Matamisa said the council wrote a letter to the ministry last month recommending the inclusion of all stakeholders from mining, agriculture, industry, commerce to manufacturing.


“This is not an issue for tourism alone but should involve all stakeholders with tourism at the centre,” Matamisa said.


“We need to create a committee that will see which opportunities can be derived from the World Cup. We need as a nation to start talking about 2010,” he said.


The multi-sectoral approach, Matamisa said, would enable the country to realise its potential in the face of opportunities.


The ZCT boss said the completion of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) would have a bearing on the potential of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry.


“The Transfrontier Park is critical for 2010 and has to be completed by that date,” Matamisa said.


Once the fastest-growing industry in Zimbabwe, tourism has been in a free-fall since 2000 due to the unstable political and economic environment.


The number of tourists from traditional markets such as the United States and Britain has been declining.


At its peak, the industry contributed 8% to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1999.


This year tourism is expected to contribute 2% to the GDP, according to a paper presented by the ZCT at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries annual congress in August.


The figure translates to $3,4 billion.

According to the ZCT, the number of people indirectly employed in the tourism sector declined from 22 000 to 13 000 between 1999 and last year.


During the same period the number of people directly employed in the sector shrank from 11 000 to 8 000. Statistics from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority show that tourism declined by 36% in the period January to June as compared to the same period last year.

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