Friday 5 April 2019


THE Government has directed tourism and hospitality industry operators to reduce accommodation and fees for various activities that were increased without justification or risk losing business to neighbouring countries.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi who beat up his ex wife in Beitbridge last week had an interface with tourism players after leading the National Clean-Up Day in Victoria Falls yesterday where he implored them to review their rates.

He made reference to recent increase of rates by hotels ahead of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) due later this month where Bulawayo Holiday Inn hiked its rates by five percent citing prevailing economic challenges. 

Early this week, the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry also reversed an increase in entrance and parks fees effected by the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority following an outcry from members of the public.

VP Mohadi said the local tourism industry is performing positively as evidenced by accolades given to the country as the destination of choice for 2019 but risks pricing itself out of the market by making its products expensive.

“The awards given to Zimbabwe through international ratings are clear indicators of the good work by the Zimbabwe tourism industry and they should continue to be resilient and working tirelessly to improve the visibility of brand Zimbabwe on the global arena.

“However, all these good intentions and efforts you have collectively achieved may come to naught if the issue of pricing is not corrected. As Government we view the recent price hikes for the 2019 ZITF as irresponsible and unjustified especially in Bulawayo. I therefore would want to urge you our captains of tourism and hospitality industry to review your costing structure so that you are not writing-off all these accolades and pricing yourselves out of the regional competition and in the process affecting development of domestic tourism,” said VP Mohadi. 

He said Government is not ignorant of the challenges faced by each economic sector in the country as it is committed to taking the country towards the middle income economy by 2030.

He implored operators to partner Government in repositioning the economy.

“We’re in this together and we would want to have more accolades from international organisations that have something to do with tourism and attract more visitors. I would like to call upon you to be price sensitive and responsible when doing your pricing because we would not want our destination to continue being viewed as expensive hence we must work together to build a brand that we will all be proud of,” said VP Mohadi.

He commended the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry for reversing entrance fees into parks and Rainforest saying this was a demonstration of Government’s commitment to the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra.

Environment Minister Prisca Mupfumira and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority acting chief executive Mrs Rita Likukuma reiterated the same sentiments in their speeches.

Mrs Likukuma said exorbitant pricing in the tourism sector is a serious issue that needs urgent attention, especially at a time when some tourists now preferred visiting neighbouring countries where it is cheaper. Even for conferences, some delegates prefer to stay in Livingstone in Zambia and travel by road to attend the conference. 

There are reports that some exhibitors for the upcoming ZTIF have opted to stay in Francistown, Botswana and drive close to 200 km to Bulawayo to avoid high accommodation rates.

Meanwhile, VP Mohadi said the country has managed to dispel negative publicity bent on tarnishing its image saying the influx of tourists was a sign that the country is on a positive trajectory. Chronicle


Post a Comment