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Domestic tourism sustains business

TANYARADZWA NHARI
THE tourism sector has remained afloat due to conferencing and exhibitions, which contributed 94% of domestic tourists as the hospitality sector recovers from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Treasury bulletin for the first quarter of 2022, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sustained most tourism businesses.

“The buoyant results for the first quarter remain closely hinged to the resilience of the domestic market with the domestic clientele accounting for an average of 94,7%, which was hedged by MICE business,” reads the Treasury bulletin.

Former ZTA acting CEO Givemore Chidzidzi paid tribute to MICE for supporting local tourism.

“We are here as ZTA to give technical expertise and advice on how people can run these conferences as we try to develop a robust MICE sector made up of professional conference organisers and all the other service providers.”

Recently, the ZTA attended a meeting in London to market Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination. In addition to the domestic market’s progress, there was notable recovery in the accommodation sector with increased hotel room occupancy, which improved by 20% from the prior year which was 14% in 2021.

“All regions in the country experienced growth ranging from 7% to 37% with Bulawayo recording the highest growth and an occupancy rate above 50%,” reads the Treasury bulletin.

According to a ZTA report, in 2020 and 2021 there was a 45% growth in visiting friends and relatives (VFR), this translated to 2,3 million trips. This showed the rising significance of domestic related travel.

The tourism sector had in the prior years of the Covid-19 pandemic suffered losses of approximately US$1 billion.

The Treasury bulletin stated that international arrivals stood at 126 955 and 62,7% were African travellers while 20,9% were European tourists.

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