Lovemore Lubinda

The capital city of Zimbabwe Harare is the most visited place in Zimbabwe.

According to 2015/16 visitor exit survey (VES) report, a total of 7040 visitors visited the city spending an average of 7.4 nights. The travellers who called-in in the city were for leisure, business, visiting relatives and transit visitors.

Victoria Falls and Bulawayo followed with 6 744 at 2.0and 5474 at 6.1 percent respectively.

The survey is the fifth to be conducted in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. The first was conducted by the then Zimbabwe Tourist Development Corporation (ZTDC) in 1992/95. Three surveys were further carried out at the height of the land reform period by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in 1999/00, 2001/ 02 and 2004/05.

The VES is critical source of information with respects to measuring and monitoring of key indicators in the tourism sector.  It is designed to obtain detailed information on various characteristics of visitors to Zimbabwe.

It also measures services that include accommodation, amnesties, activities and transport, assess the uptake level of packaging and facilitate comparison of current survey results with previous studies.

Desire Sibanda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Macro-economic planning and Investment promotion said the findings should inform Zimbabwe’s development policies, tourism programmes and strategies for the next couple of years when, hopefully, the comprehensive TSA would have been completed.

Tourism has become one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries in the world. Zimbabwe has experienced growth in the sector as evidenced by the increase in the number of international arrivals from 1.2 million in 2009 to 2.1 in 2015.

According to statistics from ZTA tourism performance 2014 receipts were down 3 per to $827 million in 2014 from the previous year despite an increase in arrivals, are reflection of a decline in expenditure.

Zimbabwe is still battling to woe back several airlines that had withdrawn due to disgust at the country’s human rights records. Most airlines stated that it was not economically feasible.Those that pulled out included Qantas, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Air and the Dutch KLM hindering tourism from these countries. This was devastating since most visitor came from England and Ireland.