By Staff Reporter

Tourism is contributing close to 5% of the countries Gross Domestic Product GDP, according to the Tourism Accounting Findings and Policy Implications Findings presented by the country’s parent tourism ministry to cabinet this week. The accounting findings showed that tourism contributes close to US$2 billion annually, while the contribution was on a 63 % to 37% ratio between inbound and domestic tourists respectively.

“The nation is informed that the major findings of TSA are as follows;1. that currently tourism is contributing US$ 1 964 592 880 (4.5%) to GDP. There is need to triple growth in the sector to reach the target of a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025;2 that the tourism sector directly employed 99 141 people in 2018;3 that domestic tourism contributed US$765 724 073 compared to US$1 198 868 807 inbound tourism expenditure and should be supported.” The Acting Chair of the post cabinet briefing, The Minister of Information and Communication Technology and Postal Courier Services, Hon Jenfan Muswere said.

The TSA is part of government’s five year blueprint by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development National Development Strategy 1 NDS1 with the thrust of improved tourism accounting standards and was coordinated by ZIMSTAT.

“Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that in line with the National Development Strategy, (NDS 1 2021-2025), Government undertook to develop the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), in order to improve the accounting of the performance of the Tourism Sector. A Technical Working group led by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTAT) produced the TSA.” The Acting Chair of Post Cabinet , Jenfan Muswere said.

Furthermore the report noted “ that collaboration among Government Agencies involved in collection of tourism statistics will be strengthened by utilization of digital platforms and collaboration will be enhanced among the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, the Department of Immigration and other State actors.” Hon Muswere also said.

The tourism accounting findings did not however consider the implications of tourism on culture and the potential strategies that could facilitate for improved contributions by domestic tourism to GDP as the country has experienced a negative trade balance for over three years.

“The research did not go on to look at how culture can be packaged to avail platforms for the improvement of tourism or how the domestic tourism industry can be availed as a major contributor to the tourism industry. The report mainly focused on how tourism is contributing to national accounting.” The acting Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Kirsty Coventry said.

With the country having perennially experienced negative balance of payments as minerals dominate exports and demand for fuels, machinery and equipment forex generators remain high alternative forex generators are key to addressing the trade deficit.

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