ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer, Mr Karikoga Kaseke, says the 2018 Harare International Carnival slated for next month is expected to rake in $50 million to the economy.
He told journalists that the seven-day leisure event, to be held from 14 to 20 October, would bring in more guests and generate huge proceeds for the tourism sector.
“We want to make this year’s carnival the mother of all carnivals and we are predicting that it will rake in no less than $50 million. To run the carnival, we put in, alongside the principal sponsor, $1 million and then you get $50 million in return as economic value and that’s good business,” said Mr Kaseke.
According to the ZTA boss, the biggest carnival in the world in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has raked in nearly $4 billion for that country’s economy. He said this year they wanted to surpass projections of the economic impact they got from their research team for previous years.
“In terms of research that was done last year, we got less than what we got in 2016. In 2015 when we looked at the economic impact of the carnival, we got $30 million. This economy got that amount from the carnival with nothing coming to the ZTA.
“However, last year it was less, we got $22 million according to our research team,” said Mr Kaseke.
He said as ZTA they do not host the carnival for themselves but for the economy of Zimbabwe. The ZTA boss said last year shops and hotels benefitted the most from the carnival.
“If you were here for the carnival last year, retail shops were wiped out in terms of water, soft drinks and such. Everyone who comes from outside the country came and stayed in hotels and they pay,” said Mr Kaseke.
He said their next target was to get visitors attending the carnival being non-participants of the annual fiesta.
“For our carnival we now want it to attract not only groups, but people who are not part of the carnival. Those who are coming to watch the carnival are the ones who we want now. This will be very beneficial to the economy,” said Mr Kaseke.
He said this year they had found a principal sponsor in the form of mobile network operator, NetOne.