By Felex Share
Government is putting in place measures to accommodate the influx of tourists expected after Zimbabwe was named one of the best countries in the world to visit in 2019, a Cabinet minister has said.
Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira said the endorsement of Zimbabwe as a top tourist destination would trigger a surge in tourist arrivals.
Lonely Planet, a respected international brand and a global leader in the provision of travel information, ranked Zimbabwe number three out of the 10 best countries to travel to in 2019.
Sri Lanka and Germany lead the poll which was based on nominations done by editors, researchers and influencers.
“Zimbabwe is endowed with a lot of natural resources, heritage sites, archaeological developments, friendly people and culture,” Minister Mupfumira said.
“We have made an achievement and we have to be prepared for the influx of tourists.
“Already, the numbers have shown that since the coming in of the new dispensation, tourist arrivals have drastically increased. We are preparing ourselves more for the surge in interest and tourist arrivals we are expecting by ensuring we work together with our industry to increase hotel facilities in our tourist resorts.”
Minister Mupfumira said Government was also looking into connectivity.
“Yes, our own airline is not yet getting to far distances, but with support from our African colleagues, we will handle that aspect,” she said. “We have Kenyan (Airways), Ethiopian (Airlines), South African Airways coming to Victoria Falls. We also have British Airways via Comair.
“We expect to welcome two or more airlines into Vic Falls soon. We are also in the process of revamping and expanding the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.”
Minister Mupfumira said Government had begun reviewing its visa regime to make it more friendly and competitive.