By Steve Ephraem
A smile has been brought on Zimbabwe’s tourism industry following the relaxation of COVID 19 protocols by the central government which saw the lifting with immediate effect of the mandatory ten day quarantine for all travellers in Zimbabwe.
Stakeholders in the tourism industry welcomed the lift of mandatory 10 day quarantine. In a statement, the President of Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe, Wengayi Nhau said that the move will help the tourism industry to recover.
“We welcome the relaxation of COVID 19 protocols in response to the reduction in the number of infections, transmissions, hospitalisation and recoveries going above 90 percent. We applaud of government we they responded to our call.
“This now has put the industry back on a good recovery position bearing in mind that we were on a good recovery path until the introduction of Statutory Instrument 267 particularly the one that talks about the mandatory quarantine of 10 days for travellers arrive in Zimbabwe.
“We look forward to another successful year as we start marketing and selling our products that are much sought after by our markets,” said Nhau.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) expressed its gratitude following this new development.
“As Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, we would like to express our gratitude and how delighted we are to hear this kind of news. It can only help us in focusing in growing the tourism product as much as we can.
“Remember, we have set very huge targets through our ZimBho campaigns. Through our MIZ (Meet In Zim) campaign as well as the Visit Zimbabwe, which is an international campaign that we are running.
“We set ourselves a very ambitious US$5 billion economy by 2025 within the tourism sector and we are well on course if there is activity that is happening within the tourism sector.
“But we would also hasten to let the members of the public as well as the tourism players themselves know that it is really important for us to maintain the protocols and guidelines that were set by government and the World Health Organisation in terms of preventing the spread of COVID 19 pandemic.
“We must wear our masks and as mandated we must also socially distance physically and of course keep all the other protocols in line for us to be able to save the tourism sector,” said ZTA’s Godfrey Koti.
In other developments, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has reported that that global tourism grew by 4 percent in 2021.
The report says that global tourism rose from 400 million in 2020 to 415 in 2021. The organisation is projecting that in 2022; travel might rise again basing on the rise in vaccinations rate, combined with easing of travel restrictions due to increased cross-border coordination and protocols.