Secondly, the bulk of the material goods required - construction materials, food and the like - are produced in the country. So a growing tourism sector can benefit a lot of other local industries and farmers.
Besides upstream industries, such as brick makers and beer breweries, there are the downstream industries, everything from entertainers and restaurants to artists and craftsmen.
Tourists do not spend all their money on food and a bedroom. Zimbabwe has a good base for attracting tourism. We all know about Victoria Falls and the animals.
But these can only be a base. You cannot spend that many hours looking at the Zambezi going over a cliff and a few days in game reserves will let the average tourist see just about everything in the way of Southern African game that a non-specialist in African zoology would care to see.
So we have to go further if we are to keep a tourist in Zimbabwe for more than a few days, and we have to offer something different from what they can see in Botswana or Zambia and something more than attractively arranged groups of animals.
And, fortunately, this is what the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is now trying to do.
The Zimbabwe International Carnival late this month does offer something extra, just as the growing Hifa, with a better mix of Zimbabwean and international talent, is already doing.
Tourists like having fun. And many like to meet interesting people in the countries they visit. A growing entertainment industry can meet both requirements, as well as making that industry a paying career for the talented.
But the ZTA needs to be even more imaginative in its marketing.