Tourism sector expects to attract US$534 million in investments Mr Tendai Madziwanyika

Senior Business Writer

THE rise in domestic tourism is set to boost investments in the sector and stakeholders are projecting that the tourism and hospitality industry will attract investments worth more than US$534 million this year. Investments in the sector had declined from US$312,5 million in 2022 to US$172,2 million in 2023.

Zimbabwe aims to achieve a $5 billion tourism industry by 2025 and the focus now is on promoting domestic tourism. This involves encouraging Zimbabweans to explore their tourist destinations and enjoy an array of tourist products offered by the various operators.

The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) have since last year been running programmes to promote domestic tourism.

Hospitality group Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) chief executive Mr Tendai Madziwanyika noted in the group’s 2023 annual report that the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) report for 2023 indicated substantial growth in the country’s tourism sector.

The data showed that the country received 1 602 781 visitors in 2023 which was 54 percent increase compared to the previous year. The surge in arrivals also contributed to an increase in the national average occupancy, which rose to 47 percent in 2023, up from 45 percent in 2022.

Mr Madziwanyika said in terms of revenue, the sector saw a 27 percent growth in tourism receipts, achieving a total of US$1,16 billion in 2023 compared to US$911 million in 2022. This growth suggests a positive recovery trajectory for the industry, which had experienced downturns during the Covid-19 period.

“Zimbabwe’s tourism is bolstered by strategic plans like the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) for 2021-2024 and the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy (NTRGS), aiming to establish a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025. The integration of ZTA’s strategic planning with these national frameworks indicates a coherent approach to boosting the sector,” he said.

Mr Madziwanyika said domestic tourism was on the rise as more locals were visiting tourist destinations across the country to enjoy the various tourism products offered by the industry. He said the industry was expected to attract investments worth more than US$534 million this year.

“This suggests that the sector does not only rely on international visitors but is also gaining robust support from domestic tourism, indicating a diversified and resilient industry.”

The sector is also enjoying increased arrivals from its key markets which include Europe and America. During the year under review, RTG was 18 percent ahead of the market on occupancy at 52 percent against a national average of 44 percent.

The Group posted occupancy of 52 percent, a one percent growth compared to occupancy posted in 2022. The rise in occupancy levels, along with a boost in average daily rates and conferencing activities noted in the final quarter of 2023 significantly increased the group’s revenues.

The recovery, Mr Madziwanyika said, was driven by a comprehensive regional and international marketing strategy.
City hotels performed better on conferencing business and the Food and Beverage (FnB). The FnB covers grew by 10 percent from 635 447 in 2022 to 695 865 in 2023.

The Group’s gross profit margin remained at prior year levels at 70 percent despite the disparity of exchange rates used to recognise revenue which was at the official exchange rates while the inputs costs were obtained at parallel market rates.

“The strong recovery in gross profit margins was recorded in the second half of the year which averaged 73 percent compared to first-half average of 63 percent.

The Group posted a profit after tax of $27,8 billion, a six times growth from $4,5 billion posted in 2022. The Group declared a second and final dividend of ZiG1,7 million and US$260  000. The interim dividend declared and paid was $1,4 billion and US$260 000.


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