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Ministry of tourism is grossly underfunded

The Committee also recommends that priority should be accorded to climate change issues related to national adaptation and mitigation projects that are currently underway. The Committee further recommends that Kunzvi dam be allocated money to commence its construction since it will be a vital water source for Harare residents.

Madam Speaker, I now move on to the recommendations of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. In terms of budgetary allocation priority, the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry is again the least prioritised this year in spite of the sector being a high impact economic activity contributing 3.5% of GDP in 2017. Definitely, the sector has the potential to contribute up to 10% of the country’s GDP if meaningful financial support is availed. Gross under-funding of co-activities such as destination marketing and key tourism programmes may adversely affect tourism receipts and the achievements of key objectives.

Zimbabwe has several heritage sites and the country should boost its economy by developing the tourism sector. Tourism is a low hanging fruit which when funded adequately will bring significant socio-economic benefits downstream of the economic value chain. Sectors that are driving the economy must be allocated more resources. If tourism is to develop, a marked commitment in the funding of the Ministry and its implementing arm should be sustained. Key priority programmes for the Ministry should be funded timeously including domestic tourism. Community based tourism enterprises already started should be funded consistently to open up the tourism sector and to remove unnecessary illicit activities.

The Ministry must be allocated funds for the hosting of Southern Africa Women in Tourism Conference because the failure to host the conference would affect the image of the country. The Ministry must also broaden its funding options by attracting development partners and the private sector in view of resource mobilisation constraints which have persisted since 2009. The allocation of destination marketing of $1,080,000 is inadequate given the huge economic gains realised in 2017. The Committee recommends additional funding for Sanganai-Hlanganani Tourism Expo and the Harare International Carnival. ZTA should be allocated funding for National Convention Bureau programmes such as the Meeting Incentives Conference and Exhibition (MICE) tourism in Zimbabwe. Hosting such big conferences bring in a lot of foreign currency to the country.

In conclusion Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning should allocate funds for all the must attend travel shows and fares within the first quarter of the year. I thank you Madam Speaker.

 

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