Players in the tourism industry have said they want to be prioritised in the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The first phase of the vaccination programme started this week in all the country’s provinces and those being vaccinated during the first phase are the frontline workers.
These include health workers, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority employees, Customs and Immigration personnel, those in the security sector and last Tuesday Government approved the inclusion of journalists in the first phase.
The players in the tourism sector said their workers are at high risk of contracting Covid-19 due to the nature of their job hence their request to be included in the first phase.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Victoria Falls chapter chairman, Mr Anald Musonza, said vaccinating workers in the tourism sector will boost tourists’ confidence in Zimbabwe as a safe destination.
He said people receiving tourists at the ports of entry have been prioritised in the first phase yet people who spend days if not weeks with tourists at hotels and lodges have been left out.
Mr Musonza said workers in the hospitality industry should be vaccinated to give assurance to tourists that they are not exposed to the high risk of contracting the pandemic at local hotels and lodges.
Zimbabwe was last October named as the world’s safest tourist destination post Covid-19 travel restrictions hence the country should brace for an influx of tourists once the travel restrictions are relaxed.
A US-based travel and tourism agency Tourlane ranked Zimbabwe number one among top 15 destinations in the world which include Thailand, Fuji, Zambia, Seychelles, Japan Cambodia among others.
Zimbabwe scored 35,48 out of a possible 50 points and Thailand came second with 35,33 points in the travel destination index.
We therefore want to appeal to authorities to seriously consider the tourism sector’s request to be prioritised under the first phase of the vaccination programme.
The tourism and hospitality industry does not want to be found wanting once the travel restrictions are lifted hence it wants its workers to be vaccinated as part of its preparations to ensure safety of its guests during their stay in the country.