Zimbabwe: Covid-19 bites the tourism sector


Mukudzei Ching were recently in Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, a city built on tourism, is putting its prospects of saving something from a year affected by Covid-19 on the national immunization program allowing more and more people to visit the city safely.

Those in the wildlife sector have turned to government and business to support the sector in the face of Covid-19 and climate change, while those involved in the arts sector have resorted to selling merchandise online. .

Tourism, an industry that relies heavily on travel, has been hit hard by Covid-19 mitigation measures which are anchored on crowd avoidance and banning unnecessary travel, measures taken around the world. The government came up with relief measures to help the sector stay afloat, which avoided collapse.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Vice President Farai Chimba said the hospitality industry is anchored on travel and recovery will depend on the success of vaccination programs and reduction of new Covid-19 infections.

Achieving herd immunity by adopting vaccines was essential to create a safer receiving environment and reduce the number of new cases through adherence to protocols by all parties.

“We must continue to encourage domestic travel while creating visibility as a safe destination that has already been recognized as one of the safest places to visit after the Covid-19 pandemic,” Chimba said.

Mr. Terrence Musiyiwa, one of the founding directors of AVC Arts, said their products are now sold online and urge people to buy original artwork from Zimbabwe.

“We now have over 500 paintings and sculptures available to you and at negotiable prices. This year we introduced a ‘Suggest Your Price’ feature in our store with the aim of promoting the art trade during this global pandemic. “

“We will not attribute this increase in products available online solely to our improved performance, but we would also like to acknowledge the truth. The truth is that business is bad in Zimbabwe for many local artists. Art does not sell. as fast as before. “

The artists had been severely affected by the Covid-19 containment measures and appealed to the authorities for land where they could present their products.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority spokesperson Mr. Tinashe Farawo said the authority had not spared the negative effects of the pandemic and now lacked money for its conservation work. essential, as tourism provided most of the funds in the form of royalties and similar revenues.

“Wildlife management relies on tourism. Just last year, some of our budgets were cut by about 80%.

“The business community should consider supporting conservation, especially in the aftermath of such pandemics and climate change,” Farawo said.

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