Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says there is a need for businesses in the tourism sector to reduce their pricing in order to promote domestic tourism as the sector continues to endure the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to CITE during the Breakfast Club, Tuesday, ZTA Head of Corporate Affairs Godfrey Koti said there is a need to reduce costs in order to promote domestic tourism.
“We now need to focus on the domestic guy, the domestic lady who is not making much as the international tourist but we also have to be cognizant of the fact that we must partake in the tourism activities, we need to interrogate our cost structures, what we can reduce and how we can reduce and we meet each other halfway,” he said.
Koti added that the sector has lost close to US$1 billion worth of business due to the global pandemic.
“Tourism is the most affected as far as this Covid pandemic is concerned, the world over we are talking about losses that are tripling getting close to three to four trillion marks in terms of losses between tourism and aviation sector and back home we have lost convertible US$1billion dollars’ worth of business, worth of revenue that has gone somewhere down the drain because of the inactivity from the International sector,” said Koti.
He said the sector has been facing challenges without the international tourism activity.
“We are talking about US$1billion dollars being lost in the sector, we have seen in 2019 the tourism sector raking in a combined US$1.3billion, and this US$1.3billion comes from a base of domestic tourism, International tourism which contributed about US$1billion and the other US$300 million was contributed by the domestic sector so we saw it fit to say we need to find strategies to come back from this difficult phase,” he said.
“We are grappling with that at the moment, we are trying to find our feet, we are trying to recreate and readjust even to the new way of doing business.”
Koti said there hasn’t been much improvement from the international perspective as only business people are the ones coming into the country.
“For leisure, people are not travelling, people are scared, there are still restrictions across the world but we do hope that there will be a letting down as time goes on and we will see a bit of improvement in the International circuit,” he said.
Koti added that the sector has also put in place a national tourism recovery and growth strategy as part of the efforts to help the sector recover should the world reopen.
“This strategy has its own pillars that will see its success and some of it is the digital side of the business, most of it is the product development, most of it will depend on the aggression that we will have within our marketing efforts, visibility effort, within our ability to push destination Zimbabwe goals locally and internationally,” he said.
“We are anchored on three phases as a strategy right now, one is that of the domestic market, the second one is the regional market and the third is the International market and now we are talking about those guys that have managed to get us to that one billion mark but we felt also in the meantime there is a need for us to try and cultivate the US$300 million that we got in 2019 to try and make it much better with the 2021 financial year and we believe that with the vibrant domestic tourism campaign we can make things work.”