Reopening of the aviation industry excites the tourism sector

PLAYERS in the tourism industry are excited by resumption of domestic and international flights, which they say will boost tourists arrivals.

Government on Tuesday lifted the ban on domestic and internationals travel after the country’s aviation sector came up with Covid-19 prevention measures.

The country has been cautiously and slowly reopening the tourism industry following consultations with industry, which culminated in the launch of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy last month.

Recently the Government allowed tourism activities to restart, bringing hope of recovery to the industry, which had gone for more than five months without business.

In separate interviews, industry players said resumption of flights marks a return to normal business.

Aviation expert, Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, who is also Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe president said resuming air travel comes at the right time when travellers start preparing for end of year travel.

“From an industry perspective, it’s a welcome development as we will see some traffic flow to the country through those airlines that will be able to connect to Zimbabwe. Its a welcome development that must see business improving especially during the Christmas Holidays,” she said.

Tourism is largely dependent on air travel as most clients are international.

“Resumption of domestic flights will go a long way in facilitating intercity travel. Airlines have been out of business since the end of March when Government enforced lockdown restrictions,” said Ms Muchanyuka.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Victoria Falls chapter chair Mr Arnold Musonza said the reopening of the aviation sector brings hope to the industry that was almost collapsing.

“We are happy that this decision was made when more and more businesses were contemplating closing down. This gives us hope, it’s an exciting announcement by the Cabinet as it helps the resuscitation of our industry, which had been under siege and bleeding from lack of guests. Revenues had been depressed and this will help our business to resume and save jobs as retrenchments had started,” he said.

Mr Musonza said the lockdown gave the industry an opportunity to revalue its products and pricing to make sure it accommodates domestic tourism.

Employers Association for the Tourism and Safari Operators president, Mr Clement Mukwasi, said the industry was already revamping activities in anticipation of the increase in tourists arrivals.

“The opening of internal flights is a positive move, which might mark the beginning of our operations. The recovery shall be slow as some people might be cautious to travel at the beginning but operators are ready to resume the activities,” he said.

-The Chronicles

Author: Staff Writer

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