Zimbabwe’s tourism industry generated 672.9 million U.S. dollars in earnings last year, up 133 percent from 288.8 million dollars in 2021, which is in large part due to the removal of COVID-19 travel restrictions worldwide, state news agency New Ziana reported on Wednesday.
Tourist arrivals also more than doubled to 895,338 last year, from 340,000 in 2021, a rebound of over 160 percent.
Speaking at a tourism workshop in the city of Gweru in central Zimbabwe, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndhlovu said the government was coming up with a national tourism policy to cement the industry’s recovery and guide its future development.
He said tourism is a low-hanging fruit for the country, which was important in terms of foreign currency generation and employment.
Tourism was one of the worst affected industries by COVID-19.
Ndhlovu called for more investment in the industry and stressed the importance of developing a wide variety of tourism products to broaden the country’s appeal as a destination to the world.
Investments in the sector rose 239 percent to 306.7 million U.S. dollars last year from 90.4 million dollars in 2021.
“As we engage in these strategic sessions, special attention must be placed on how to leverage our competitive advantages to market tours that promote (the) culture and heritage of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.