THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has approached government seeking a revolving fund facility that would enable players in the sector to recapitalise and upgrade their facilities, an industry official has said.

Addressing journalists at a Press conference in Bulawayo on Monday ahead of next month’s Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo, ZTA chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke said players in the tourism sector were in dire need of capital.

“Challenges highlighted by operators revolve around issues to do with lack of funds to develop businesses. We need a revolving fund facility that will allow players to borrow and grow their businesses,” he said.
Kaseke said they have already engaged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mangudya, who supports tourism development.

“We will engage him further and I’m certain very soon a pronouncement will be made in terms of a financial rescue package for the tourism sector,” he said.

Kaseke said discussions over the issue were still underway and revealed that the loan would have a 9% interest rate per annum.

Kaseke said tourism officials have to come up with a five-year business plans for Bulawayo, which requires a multi-sectorial approach, with ZTA leading the process.

He said in the absence of a business plan, one sure way of contributing to business growth in Bulawayo was their idea of bringing the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo to the city.

“We are convinced that by hosting this event in this province, it will both highlight the best Bulawayo can offer, as well as steer economic activities vital in satisfying our appetite for economic development,” Kaseke said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI