The tourism sector is anticipated to register a growth of 6,9 percent next year according to 2024 budgetary expectations, as was presented by the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Profession Mthuli Ncube.
Mthuli said: “The tourism industry is experiencing a resurgence and is expected to grow by 6,9 percent in 2024, driven by growing interest from international tourists, increased travel and trade in the region, the ongoing global tourism recovery and improved accessibility to Zimbabwe made possible by improved infrastructure and the entry of new airlines into the country. These developments indicate promising prospects for the country’s tourism sector.”
According to official statistics, during the period January to September 2023, tourist arrivals increased by 52 percent, reaching 1,08 million from 714,621 during the same period in 2022.
“Most source markets saw an increase in arrivals, notably the Middle East (153 percent) and Africa (76 percent). As a result, tourism receipts increased by 18 percent, to US$724 million, up from US$615 million realised in the same period in 2022,” the minister said.
African Sun in its third quarter report to September said; “In line with these forecasts, we expect the recovery of international arrivals from our traditional source markets to continue as well.
“The improving year-to-date revenue performance is driven by an average daily room rate growth of 21 percent, and a 3 percentage points increase in occupancy from 45 percent in 2022 to close 2023 at 48 percent.”
The budget anticipates the growth of the tourism sector to hinge on efforts to improve the domestic tourist brand and image by empowering and equipping destination marketers to design and implement the most effective methods for improving the tourism destination’s positive image.
“Based on the NDS1 priority of Image Building and International Re-engagement, government will continue to capitalise on destination competitiveness, which relates to inherited endowments resources such as climate and scenery, as well as competitive advantages such as tourism infrastructure, hotels, transportation networks, festivals and events,” the minister added.
Since the establishment of the US$7,5 million Tourism Facilities Services Development and Upgrading Revolving Fund (TFDURF) through the use of SDRs in 2022, US$1,2 million was disbursed through CABS in June 2023 for the upgrading and refurbishment of tourism facilities.
Mthuli said: “The Fund which is meant to resuscitate companies in the tourism sector which were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is being accessed through CABS, CBZ and Nedbank.”