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Zimbabwe banks on civil servants in tourism push

by Staff reporter
09 Jul 2024 at 00:59hrs | Views
The Zimbabwean government is proposing a scheme where civil servants would contribute monthly towards end-of-year holidays to boost domestic tourism, despite widespread poverty among workers.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Barbara Rwodzi highlighted the initiative during a media engagement, emphasizing the government's push to grow the tourism sector into a US$5 billion industry. She expressed concern that many Zimbabweans have not visited local attractions like the Balancing Rocks, which are often promoted for international tourists.

Rwodzi suggested implementing a savings facility through banks to enable civil servants, who earn approximately US$190 monthly, to afford domestic vacations. She underscored the underdevelopment of many local tourist destinations, attributing this to insufficient infrastructure and the need to bolster the Zimbabwe Tourism Fund.

Last year, domestic tourism contributed US$428 million to the country's tourism receipts, significantly less than the US$732 million from international tourism, partly due to high costs associated with local travel and accommodation.

The minister's proposals come amid economic challenges where consumers prioritize essential spending over leisure activities. Despite these constraints, Rwodzi affirmed government plans to host the UN-Africa Gastronomy Tourism Forum in Victoria Falls, highlighting the media's role in promoting Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination. She also announced plans to collaborate with UN Tourism to establish a gastronomy school in Zimbabwe, aiming to enhance the country's appeal to global visitors.

Source - newsday