By Varaidzo Zhakata
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has commended the Ministry of Health and Child Care, and all relevant stakeholders, including the government at large for showing commitment towards the recovery of the tourism industry, but warned uncompliant players in the industry of the dire consequences upon failure to adhere to the set COVID- 19 preventative guidelines.
Following the gradual and partial opening of the tourism sector, the ZTA has emphasized on the need for all players in the tourism industry to sternly observe and adhere to the set COVID- 19 guidelines, and protocols, as these are meant to protect both the sector’s most valued human capital and consumers of tourism services from COVID- 19 risk exposure.
According to a statement released by the ZTA head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti, all players in the industry are urged to adhere to the stipulated safety and health protocols.
“In a bid to curb the spread and effects of the Coronavirus, the ZTA urges all tourism operators and consumers of tourism products, and services to always adhere to the safety and health protocols. These protocols must be implemented and observed by all the relevant tourism sub-sectors without exception,” said Koti.
To complement Government efforts in containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has recently been on a sharp increase, both business and consumers must play their part.
However, the ZTA chief whip was concerned that some players are not sticking to the measures that were put forth to curb the spread of the virus.
Koti took the opportunity to inform key players and stakeholders, alike that applicable arms of government will handle the monitoring and enforcement of compliance.
“It has however come to the attention of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority with great concern that some operators are not following the guidelines and protocols, as well as, the conditions set -out in the above mentioned statutory instruments. Operators are advised that the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority regulatory and quality assurance team, in conjunction with the relevant arms of Government, will be rigorously monitoring and enforcing compliance,” read the statement.
According to ZTA, the exercise will be run in the duration of the entire lockdown period to guarantee full compliance and will cover the whole country.
Accordingly, tourism operators and consumers of tourism products, and services are urged to comply with the approved general guidelines for the tourism industry, as any breach will leave authorities with no other option, but to close those operations found contravening the guidelines.
For emphasis, all operators should ensure that at all designated tourism facilities, staff and consumers alike, among other measures: undertake temperature checks; maintain social distancing, sanitize as appropriate; wash their hands; wear face masks appropriately; maintain high hygienic standards; adhere to the approved operating hours.
ZTA has cautioned that violation of the guidelines will not only frustrate but also undermine efforts being made to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the country.