Zimbabwe’s tourism rose from a Covid-19-induced slump, as tourist arrivals rose by 50% to 529 078 in the first six months of the year, the Zimbabwe Economic Review reports.

According to the data, receipts rose by 16 % to US$397,7 million from the comparable period last year.

This means the government is now expecting revenue inflows to rise above the record US$1,38b realised in 2018 from 2.6 million tourists.

Hotel occupancy improved to 41% in the same period from 39 percent a year ago.

Zimbabwe boasts of housing some of the world’s celebrated natural wonders.

Tourism is Zimbabwe’s third largest sector after mining and agriculture and has the potential to play a significant role in Zimbabwe’s economic recovery. Zimbabwe has several national parks and natural attractions such as Hwange, Mana Pools, and Gonarezhou National Parks, Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, and the Great Zimbabwe National Monument.

Unfortunately, statistics from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) show that tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe fell by 40 percent in 2021, to 375,799 from 630,369 in 2020, due to continued impacts from COVID-19.

Most visitors came from within Africa and the Middle East while the country registered declines in arrivals from Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Asia.

The GOZ estimates the tourism sector generated US$397 million in 2021 compared to US$360 million recorded in 2020.