The government is getting input from tourism stakeholders to be incorporated in the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS).

Speaking yesterday at the validation workshop held at a local hotel in Harare yesterday, Tourism and Hospitality Industry permanent secretary Thokozile Chitepo said the absence of the National Tourism Strategy gave a limp to the growth of the sector.

“The sector was limping in terms of strategic direction and also without well-orchestrated development and an informed growth path resonating with one key centre of focus. This in turn had placed our nation and sector in a negative competitive advantage in the region,” she said.

“Tourism plays a critical role in the development of our economy by luring foreign direct investment and the much needed foreign currency which results in job creation, improvement of our social and economic life or index.”

She said the ministry took a decision to embark on development of the national development tourism sector strategy to inform, harness and champion a more centrally focused development and strategic growth path for the sector after realising the rift between the potential of what is endowed in the tourism sector and the actual traction on the ground.

The ministry has already held six consultative workshops in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Masvingo, Mutare and Chinhoyi to get input to craft the strategy document with inputs from all in the crafting of the strategy.

“We feel confident that what we are presenting to you today is really based on people’s views, issues, expectations and visions of where we should really be taking the tourism sector,” Chitepo said.

The NTSS will once adopted cover this year through to 2030 with a goal of increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to $8,1 billion from the current $2,5 billion.

The strategy seeks to increase tourist arrivals to seven million from a current 2,4 million and tourism export earnings to $7 billion from $1 billion.
The objectives of the NTSS are to ensure Zimbabwe increases its share of global tourism and convert it into tangible benefits for the economy.
It will focus on seven key pillars, namely, environmental sustainability, destination management product development, effective marketing, facilitation and access, information communication technology, and human capital development.