By Paidamoyo Chipunza
Government is mulling setting up a tourism revolving fund to support players in the sector to access credit facilities to boost big projects, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has said.
Addressing officials attending the sector’s strategic planning workshop recently, Minister Mupfumira said tourism was the face of the nation, hence the need to rebrand Zimbabwe and put in place effective marketing strategies.
“We need to urgently facilitate the establishment of a tourism revolving fund as a mechanism to create capital injection aimed at supporting the industry, as well as addressing challenges such as shortage of hotel room capacity and facilities,” said Minister Mupfumira.
Some players requiring capital for projects are getting support through another fund put in place by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, but is capacitating small projects.
The revolving fund for bigger projects is still in its infancy stages.
Minister Mupfumira said other issues to prioritise in the year 2019 in line with Government’s priorities included enhanced biodiversity and conservation, sustainable environment protection, accelerated reforestation, investment promotion and use of information, communication and technology.
“Zimbabwe is open for business, we expect each parastatal and State enterprises where applicable to attract both local and international brands to do business in Zimbabwe,” said Minister Mupfumira.
She said the ministry’s strategy must also be guided by Government’s overall thrust on devolution, which looks at restructuring all operations to reach out to provinces.
“The ministry should be represented at grassroots levels so that we communicate our intent, stimulate and boost local participation in the sector, through a bottom-up approach,” said Minister Mupfumira.
The tourism sector is one of the key contributors to the economy anticipated to play a big part in achieving the country’s vision of a middle income economy by the year 2030.