THE country’s tourism and hospitality industry recorded a 6% slump in business during the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year attributed to the prevailing harsh economic climate characterised by a myriad of problems.
Information obtained by Southern Eye Business indicates industry between January and June this year enjoyed a 43% performance compared to 49% registered during the same period last year.
In an interview with Southern Eye Business yesterday, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) president Tamuka Macheka said challenges of liquidity crunch have had negative effects on the viability of the tourism and hospitality industry.
“The performance (during the first half of 2014) was 43% on average because of liquidity challenges. There was little activity especially from non-governmental organisations. There was a drop in numbers and in the revenue as compared to last year. Last year the performance was around 49% which means this time we had a loss as compared to last year,” Macheka said.
The HAZ boss, however, expressed optimism that following the successful hosting of the Routes Africa Forum in Victoria Falls last month, things would improve for the better.
He added that since Zimbabwe had won the World best tourism destination 2014 award and the world favourite cultural destination award the chances were high that the tourism and hospitality industry would grow during the second half.
“We will start having more flights into the country as the forum has given tourism players a chance to see that the country was a safe tourist destination|,” he said.