Tourism sector urged to come up with innovative strategies for recovery

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged players in the country’s tourism industry, which is the hardest-hit by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), to come up with innovative strategies for recovery.

Following the closing down of international borders and suspension of flights by different countries across the globe as part of measures to curb importation of the deadly pandemic, the tourism industry worldwide has been forced on its knees.

Owing to the COVID-19 impact tourism players in the country have since approached government seeking interventions to save the sector considered low the hanging fruit in the economy.

Some big hotel and lodges in Zimbabwe’s tourism capital of Victoria Falls have indicated they were planning to retrench staff while others have since sent their employees on unpaid leaves.

However, in his 40 th independence anniversary address Saturday, President Mnangagwa, said it was high time players in the sector came up with new strategies for recovery post the global pandemic.

“The tourism sector must prepare innovative strategies for recovery,” said President Mnangagwa.

The country’s tourism attractions including the mighty Victoria Falls remain closed, owing to the 21-day national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, something that is affecting employees in that sector and downstream industries.

Some companies in the hospitality sector such as Simbisa Zimbabwe Brands have since notified their workforce that normal salaries would not be paid this month end owing to low revenue brought by the unprecedented business break.

Food sector employees, on the other hand, have since petitioned Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare permanent secretary, Simon Masanga, over the matter arguing that some employers, making huge profits for years, were taking advantage of the lockdown to neglect their employees by threatening not to pay salaries during the lockdown.

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