Southern African nation, Zimbabwe is targeting the domestic market to boost the tourism industry following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mangaliso Ndholvu, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry stated that the sector remains optimistic that it will bounce back post-COVID-19 through prioritising the domestic market and product diversification.
This recovery strategy came upon the realisation that the tourism industry was hit the hardest by the effects of COVID-19.
In an interview, Minister Ndholvu emphasized the need to have a three phased approach which starts by growing domestic tourism, regional and the international market.
“Obviously, we are expecting that international tourism will take some bit of time to recover and we are looking at domestic tourism as an immediate source of relief and I think over time we have really not given it attention.
“Beyond that we are seeing regional tourism coming back thankfully as a region we are not hard it by the pandemic.
“We will remain alert but so far we believe that we have reasonable numbers. It might not take long before the regional tourism roars into life, so we are getting ready for that as well,” he said.
Last week, the tourism sector met in Harare to discuss a post COVID-19 tourism recovery strategy.
Minister Ndholvu said during the discussion they made it clear that they do not want to restore the tourism sector as it was before.
“What I want to emphasize again, is that in the discussion we were quite clear that we don’t want to restore tourism as it was.
“We want the best case scenario, we believe Zimbabwe is a very beautiful country though we have not been getting the best out of our tourism.
“So we took this opportunity to look at other areas where we can do better, service excellence, how we treat our clients.
“We also have to be unlocking other domestic destinations which are currently inaccessible either through air or road.
“We want a better and bigger tourism industry as we recover from the pandemic and as we march towards 2030,” he said.