The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and listed hospitality group, African Sun Limited have pledged to collaborate on initiatives aimed at facilitating the recovery of the country’s tourism industry after the impact of the pandemic on the sector.
According to chronicle.co.zw, due to national lockdowns and travel restrictions countries world over imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has not been spared from the adverse effects of the virus.
The Covid-19 pandemic was first detected in China in December 2019 before spreading across the globe.
During a meeting held between ZTA acting chief executive officer Mr Givemore Chidzidzi and the recently appointed African Sun chief executive officer, Mr Peter Saungweme in Harare this week, the two organisations expressed keen interest on collaborative efforts premised on promoting the tourism sector’s recovery.
ZTA head of corporate affairs Mr Godfrey Koti said: “Mr Chidzidzi and his team took time to meet with Mr Saungweme who was recently appointed chief executive office for hospitality giant African Sun Limited.
“In the meeting both entities pledged to make provisions for collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening the tourism sector.
“Tourism has been identified as a critical pillar of economic development in the NDS1 and attainment of Vision 2030.”
At the meeting Mr Chidzidzi said African Sun has over the years supported ZTA in marketing the country as a tourist destination stressing that such operators were critical in the attainment of a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025.
“We would like to thank the African Sun and Mr Edwin Shangwa (former African Sun chief executive officer) for the support they have rendered to the ZTA over the years.
“We believe that operators such as the African Sun are critical to achieving Government’s objective of a US$5 billion tourism economy.
“This is heavily anchored on lucrative and mutually beneficial public-private partnerships,” he said.
In 2020, the Government launched the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy to re-start the sector, whose contribution to the national economy has been heavily crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Saungweme said: “I am looking forward to African Sun Limited’s contribution to the recovery and growth of the tourism sector. We will work hand in hand with the ZTA to ensure that tourism scales greater heights.”
The tourism industry is one of the three major economic mainstays after mining and agriculture that contribute significantly to the fiscus and Gross Domestic Product through foreign currency generation.