Tourism in Zimbabwe is looking at a welcome boost in 2018. Zimbabwe's new Minister Tourism, Prisca Mupfumira, addressed the public at a press conference in Johannesburg on February 28.
The highly educated, newly appointed minister who was patriotically dressed in the Zimbabwean national colors declared: "Zimbabwe has lagged as a result of isolation over the past 18 years. We are now saying to the world: Zimbabwe is open for business, and business includes tourism.”
Information was provided about the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project, a drive focused on transforming Victoria Falls, Hwange and Kariba into a tourism hub. Mupfumira hinted that the main focus would be on the Victoria Falls region, “We want Victoria Falls to be the main centre of attraction for the continent,” hoping that the area would become a hub to feed Zimbabwean tourism.
The Special Economic Zone will see some exciting new initiatives as the government looks at transforming these zones into 'virtual cities.' World-class artificial beaches, new marinas, modern hotels and contemporary conference facilities are just a few of the many expansions in discussion. The minster is hopeful about the rapid growth and development of sports tourism, medical tourism, conferencing (MICE), hotels, lodges and even the possibility of a hospitality school. Zimbabwe has seen an increase in investors since the new political dispensation, and the government has urged potential investors to take full advantage of this opportunity. “It’s a first come, first served or winner takes all.”
The newly elected President Emmerson Mnangagwa feels there is a need to review the legislation that has been constraining business in Zimbabwe. In line with this, Mupfumira stated that it is expected that immense progress will be experienced at all border posts, as well as assuring that travel within the borders of the country will become a much smoother venture moving forward. "I am inviting you to enjoy the drives again”
All in all the Zimbabwean government, who will be the enablers and facilitators of this exciting new era, expect great things in the Zimbabwean tourism sector going forward. Mupfumira is positive about progress of the country as a whole, “Let bygones be bygones, and let’s move forward together.”