COVID-19: ZTA bemoans travel ban on SADC region

COVID-19: ZTA bemoans travel ban on SADC region
COVID-19: ZTA bemoans travel ban on SADC region

COVID-19: ZTA bemoans travel ban on SADC region

By Own Correspondent

The tourism sector in Zimbabwe has been recovering from the effects of lockdown and restrictions which put a damper on the travel business for a long time.

Now tourism and economic experts warn that the recent travel ban by Western countries on the SADC region countries will have a ripple effect.

Looking back in 2020, experts in tourism say about US$1.5 billion in revenues which stood to be gained was lost.

Director of corporate affairs at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Godfrey Koti says, “The impact will obviously be devastating, not only to Zimbabwe but to Southern Africa because when we sell our tourism products many a time it comes as a block.

‘’Someone goes to South Africa, they want to come to Victoria Falls, they want to come to Inyanga, they also want to go to the Okavango Delta. They also want to sample Zambia.”

Zimbabwe has been leading the pack in its vaccine roll out and Koti says such strides in preventative measures should have informed the ban.

“It’s a very huge impact, for Zimbabwe alone it’s disheartening because our vaccine program has been nothing short of impeccable and it would have been great if this was looked at a fair perspective.

‘’And more so for Southern Africa, the fact that South Africa presented their findings to World Health Organization could have been great if we were viewed from that perspective but nonetheless from a tourism perspective, we are very disappointed because we know the effects of these kinds of decisions.”

Tourism is a key economic pillar in Zimbabwe

Tourism is one of the key pillars for economic revival for the Second republic together with mining and agriculture.

The government has made numerous interventions to ensure the tourism sector remains a key pillar. Some of the interventions include the scrapping of duty on the importation of capital equipment.

Tourism also employs many people directly and indirectly in its value chain.

COVID-19: ZTA bemoans travel ban on SADC region