Opening of tourism gates to spur economy

GOVERNMENT’s move to reopen the Tourism sector could not have come at any other better time, especially now when COVID- 19 related deaths and cases are sharply decreasing, but however, citizens should not be complacent and let their guard down.
Global lessons learnt so far should act as a guideline both for authorities and the general citizenry.
Many nations including China, United Kingdom, USA and nearer to home, South Africa, among a host of others have experienced second waves of the pandemic, resulting, sadly, in thousands of deaths, as people let their guard by not practising regulations such as wearing of masks and most importantly social distancing to prevent the further spread of the pandemic.
It was refreshing to listen and note points stated by the Honourable minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon. Nqobizita M. Ndhlovu calling on tourism stakeholders to adhere to the set COVID- 19 preventative regulations in order to instil confidence in the sector to enable growth, especially after a long time of stagnation, a time where many were laid-off their workplaces, as the pandemic took its toll on the tourism industry.
Hence, as the tourism industry opens its gates to the domestic tourist and the wider world, caution should be seriously taken, as there is still no cure to the virus, save for each and every being practising the World Health Organisation’s regulations to keep everyone safe.
The onus is now on service providers in the sector practice good hygiene levels, while also making sure that their guests are tested for COVID- 19, and making sure they (guests) adhere to the new normal standards of life, in light of curbing the pandemic.
As a nation, the tourism industry has been one of the major contributors to the gross domestic product, hence opening up the sector will enable the country’s battered economy to breathe a bit and probably recover since government is seriously considering opening its airports to the international community, but only after domestic flights.
While some will still be sceptical about safety levels with regards o travelling across the country, government’s move will most certainly boost the social morale of communities that have been heavily reliant on tourism for employment and development.
Resort towns in Zimbabwe which come in mind pursuant to that include Kariba, Victoria Falls and communities like Vhumba and other parts of Manicaland that are most dependent on tourism for development.
40% of all destinations worldwide have now eased the restrictions they placed on international tourism response to COVID- 19.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) stated that the tourism industry has lost about US$320 million because of the COVID- 19.

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