By Daniel Chigundu
ENVIRONMENT Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has called on potential investors in the United Kingdom to take advantage of opportunities in the country’s tourism sector.
Tourism is one of the main foreign currency earning sectors that are expected to help revive the country’s economy together with agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is expected to grow by 20 percent in 2018 surpassing 2.5 million arrivals buoyed by unique flora and fauna and world heritage sites such as Victoria Falls and Great Zimbabwe among others which avails investment opportunities.
However, the sector still faces a lot of challenges such as lack of adequate infrastructure and activities that can lure tourists to stay longer in the country.
Addressing delegates during the Invest Zimbabwe Forum in Canary Wharf in London, Minister Mupfumira said Zimbabwe offers lucrative investment opportunities in the tourism sector.
“Esteemed investors and potential investors in Zimbabwe: The accolades that Zimbabwe has received from Lonely Planet, among other international publishers and guides, affirm that an investment into Zimbabwe’s tourism sector would be lucrative and enjoy high growth prospects.
Specific opportunities available in Zimbabwe’s tourism sector include: hotel and conference centre development, the establishment of theme parks, educational tourism, sporting tourism, medical tourism, adventure tourism, cultural tourism, Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism, offshore financial centre development and retail and leisure park development, just to name a few areas of opportunity,” she said.
Turning to the Infrastructure sector, Minister Mupfumira said “Zimbabwe seeks investment for projects including roads, rail, airports development, dam-building and irrigation.
“In the Energy sector, investments in power generation, including Independent Power Producers, are a key to the industrial capacity building.
“Numerous other investment opportunities exist in Zimbabwe’s services sector, banking, information and communication technology (ICT’s), transport, food and beverages, retail and distribution, health and education sectors,” she said.
Zimbabwe has currently designated three Special Economic Zones in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, with more envisaged.
The Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone Corridor is divided into Hwange, Victoria Falls and Binga sub-zones. The Special Economic Zones enjoy tax and other incentives at internationally competitive rates.
Mupfumira revealed that foreign investors have a role to play in efforts of trying to achieve Vision 2030 which was pronounced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa has enunciated a Vision that Zimbabwe should be an upper middle-income country by 2030: within the next 12 years.
“We are confident that, given our natural resource endowments, educated and skilled workforce, this is an achievable feat. We welcome you as investors to join us on this exciting journey to 2030.
“In October 2018, Government adopted the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, themed “Towards a Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Society by 2030,” said the Minister.
Among the outcomes of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme shall be the restoration of fiscal balance and the mobilisation of domestic savings. The Programme seeks to enhance the competitiveness of Zimbabwean exporters on the international markets.