Business Reporter

The ongoing Covid-19 national vaccination programme is expected to play a critical role in the resuscitation of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and across value chains, a senior official has said.

Speaking during the Zimbabwe Finance Conference hosted by Financial Markets Indaba (FMI) in conjunction with Business Weekly, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Retired Colonel Christian Katsande, said the nationwide vaccination programme was a ray of hope for the economy as activity increases and recovery from the pandemic first detected in China in 2019.

“The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme offers hope for the resuscitation of the tourism and hospitality sector in the country and the economy as a whole,” he said.

The travel, tourism and hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit sectors across the globe as economies closed borders to limit the spread of the pandemic.

Domestic tourism was also affected as intercity travel was also restricted as the country implemented various stages of lockdowns effective March 30, 2020.

Resultantly, local hospitality service providers closed some of their facilities due to subdued demand, for instance, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) temporarily closed two hotels in the resort city of Victoria Falls.

Its occupancy for the year to December 31, 2020 closed at 26 percent compared to 47 percent recorded in the prior year due to effects of Covid-19.