The Sunday News
The tourism industry has expressed excitement following the approval by Government to resume the operations of both domestic and international flights.
The Minister of Information, broadcasting and publicity, Senator Monica Mutsvanga on Tuesday announced government’s decision to resume operations of both the domestic and international flights.
The development comes as a shot in the arm for the industry which has seen both the public and private stakeholders coming up with initiatives meant to spearhead the recovery of the multi billion foreign currency generating industry.
The initiatives include the drafting of a recovery strategic plan, designation of particular tourist destinations as Special Economic Zones as well as the allocation of a recovery fund with all these being spearheaded by government.
The private sector has also not stood on the sidelines and watch the devastation due to the Covid-19 pandemic but has also utilised the opportunity to revamp and improve their facilities while some have came up with attractive packages meant to contribute towards the recovery of the sector.
This resumption has been complimented by the resumption of both domestic and international flights with tour operators excited by the move.
Employers Association for Tour and Safari Operators Mr Clement Mukwasi welcomed the development but however, called for the recovery fund to be easily accessible as most tour operating companies were facing financial constraints.
“The industry is excited and ready to resume operations. A lot of companies are however, under dire financial stress and seek that the promised recovery fund be easily accessed.
“Further, the recovery of the industry is going to be gradual as our source markets are going to take their time in opening their borders,” said Mukwasi.
He added that tour packages had to be adjusted.
“It is critical that product prices be revisited and that new packages be put in place. Our state of preparedness as a destination is very high and we hope everybody shall keep following the health protocols to ensure that the industry operates safely,” said Mukwasi.
Cabinet has approved the opening the country’s skies to both domestic and international flights effective on 10 September and 1 October 2020 respectively.