By Byron Mutingwende
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority yesterday met with the Tourism Business Council, tourism operators and other tourism sector players at the Tourism House in Harare and discussed a wide range of issues which include pricing of the tourism product, the state of tourism and ways of manoeuvring the prevailing economic challenges within the sector.
There was a general consensus that the tourism sector was facing challenges with the cost of doing business and eventually pricing the product.
In an interview with Spiked Online Media, the ZTA Chief Executive, Dr Karikoga Kaseke said the meeting was successful and very fruitful in that it touched on many issues affecting tourism.
“It was a no holds barred meeting and everybody was very clear on the issues discussed. I am very happy that they (operators) will reign each other and in particular the Tourism Business Council will make sure that they don’t put charges that are ridiculous. Especially when we are talking about foreign international tourists, it’s bad. The high pricing was basically chasing away tourists and I would like to think we have intervened at the right time. I am certain that it (pricing challenges) will be resolved by the end of this week,” Dr. Kaseke said
The Tourism Business Council President, Mr. Paul Matamisa echoed the same sentiments.
“The meeting came very fruitful in that we managed to bridge the gap of understanding of the market forces that are currently prevailing in our markets. In particular how we deal with the US Dollar. We also spoke about issues of the FCA accounts, Nostro accounts and so on, how they’re going to be looked at and how we are going to be dealing with them going forward.
“It appears though that at the moment various banks have got their own policies on how they look at the foreign currency accounts as well as the RTGS accounts and the local accounts. It doesn’t look like there is common way of do we things and that creates a lot of problems for operators. Every bank appears to have its own way of doing things but we are saying the RBZ must intervene so that we have a common system that is operating in all banks for these Nostro and RTGS accounts,” Mr. Matamisa said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that the Government under the new economic order, among other factors, seeks to attract investors in different economic sectors and priority would be on improving the ease of doing business.
The meeting, was part of a series of similar meetings to be held more often, in a bid to get the tourism sector operating and moving in the same direction when marketing Destination Zimbabwe.