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The economic engine for Zimbabwe is tourism
At Sanganai, Zimbabwe's international tourism trade show ZTA said the government of Zimbabwe was now in full agreement that tourism should become the country's number one economic performer, foreign exchange earner, investment magnet and job provider, as ZTA is moving ahead to promote the destination with new vigour.
It was revealed that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has in principle agreed to make subsidised loans available to modernise, upgrade and enlarge existing hospitality businesses, with special emphasis on women owned enterprises. The loans, when disbursed to qualifying companies, will reduce the current high interest rates into approximately half, making it financially viable to take out bank loans to improve facilities. In a second phase, later on, will then loans also be made available under this scheme to add new facilities.
At present average occupancies of hotels, resorts and safari lodges / camps stands between 56 and 60 percent but that the expected rise in visitor numbers sooner or later will require new properties to be developed.
The top priorities to revive the tourism sector are by pointing at grass root enterprises, cooperatives and community based businesses which need to be supported and facilitated to see benefits from larger visitor numbers again percolate down to the locations surrounding national parks, monuments and scenic sites.