UNWTO commits to work with Zimbabwe to measure the value of tourism

by | Jun 29, 2021 | Business | 0 comments


Hosia Mviringi

United Nations World Tourism Authority has come out in full support of Zimbabwe’s efforts to measure the importance and impact of tourism on the national economy.

The country’s first Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is a collaborative program with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation designed to track and measure the economic contribution of tourism as a sub-sector of the economy.

Tourism has been identified as a critical pillar of economic transformation under the country’s flagship National Development Strategy 1 blueprint which runs between 2021 to the end of 2025.
The TSA will enable the government to measure tourism’s contribution to the economy in terms of the number and quality of jobs created, its contribution to the GDP, level and value of investment into the sector, the impact of international tourism on the country’s balance of payment position (this tracks contribution to foreign currency earnings).

As the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Munesu Munodawafa rightly put it,
“As we continue to invest in the recovery and re-development of tourism across Zimbabwe, we must be able to accurately measure the importance of tourism to the country’s economy. The development of the TSA is one of the key milestones for the sector under the NDS1 (2021-2025).
This tool is critical to aid Government’s decision making and evidence-based policy formulation for a sustainable and resilient tourism sector post-Covid-19”.

Government of Zimbabwe has adopted a scientific look at policy formulation and thus research-based evidence has become a preferred tool for policy intervention as shooting in the dark has becomes outdated.

The TSA is part of a four year Zimbabwe Destination Development program which is being supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. It is being administered by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development and is sponsored by the government of Japan.
“ We are delighted to work again with Zimbabwe in this important endeavour. We are committed to supporting the government by providing clear data that can help guide key decisions for tourism’s recovery and growth,” said Elcia Grantcourt, WTO Director for Africa.

Data from the program is expected to help the government fashion out appropriately targeted policy interventions that can save thousands of jobs in the sector and earn the economy the much needed foreign currency amid a marked decrease in tourist arrivals due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.