HomeBusiness DigestTourism shrinks 10-fold/Munyeza

Tourism shrinks 10-fold/Munyeza

Staff Writers

ZIMBABWE Council for Tourism (ZCT) president Shingi Munyeza says the tourism sector has shrunk ten-fold over the past four years.

na, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Speaking at the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) meeting on Wednesday, Munyeza who is also Zimsun Leisure Group’s chief executive officer, said in 1999 the tourism industry together with its downstream activities generated US$700 million compared to the US$70 million produced last year.

“The tourism industry generated about US$250 million but if we take into account the downstream activities it amounted to US$700 million. Last year the sector only produced US$70 million,” said Munyeza.

“The government should be addressing the impact of the land reform programme on the tourism industry,” Munyeza said.

He said it was high time the acquisition process of land was completed.

“There is still listing and delisting continuing and this is causing unnecessary problems and complications,” he said.

“No one at the moment can confirm that land reform is complete. Let us get on with the programme and complete it.”

The tourism sector has not been performing well since the fast-track land reform programme began.

The sector has been harmed by negative publicity emanating from government’s handling of the controversial issue, abuse of the judiciary as well as the interference with press freedom.

Munyeza called on government and tourism players to adopt a realistic marketing campaign for the sector.

He referred to the recent launch in Johannesburg of a promotional video on the Victoria Falls and a CD-Rom on Zimbabwe.

“It is amazing to watch the CD-Rom showing trains moving when in fact those things are not working. The CD-Rom is unrealistic. The only realistic part is the Victoria Falls,” said Munyeza.

He emphasised the need for a truthful assessment of the economy to come up with a proper framework.

“Let’s start telling the truth. By not telling the truth we are digging our own grave. If there is no foreign currency then there is none,” said Munyeza.

Commenting on the National Economic Revival Plan (Nerp) he said the bulk of what was achieved in February had not been implemented.

Nerp is the rehashed version of the short-lived National Economic Recovery Programme.

The quarterly devaluation which government promised has not been achieved. Government has also failed to reduce inflation to its target of 96% before the end of the year.

Munyeza said there was need for Zimbabwe to re-engage the international community.

“The international community remains vital to our recovery,” he said. “But before we approach them we should build confidence.”

Zimbabwe has been shunned by the international community because of its poor economic and political climate. This has resulted in escalating problems such as high unemployment of 70% and poverty.

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