In line with the United Nations’ (UN) International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Zimbabwe has recently launched the Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development under the theme, ‘Travel, Enjoy and Respect’.
According to the latest Africa Tourism report published in 2015 by the Africa Development Bank Group, tourism industry in Africa showed tremendous progress with 65.3 million visitors generating $43.6 billion in 2014 compared to a mere 17 million visitors in 1990. South Africa, their neighbour to the south is the third tourism destination in Africa with 9.55 million visitors compared to a little over two million visitors to Zimbabwe.
According to Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe, if people remain vigilant in protecting the environment, they will preserve Zimbabwe’s heritage to the next generation while ensuring the country becomes a preferred tourist destination and achieve its national plan of earning $5 billion by 2020 from $1 billion in 2015.
His perspectives through which Sustainable Tourism could contribute significantly and accomplish the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Zimbabwe are:
– First, Sustainable tourism’s direct effects, a myriad evidence show that tourism is more labour-intensive than other non-agricultural sectors.
– Second, indirect effects occur through the tourism value chain.
– Third, tourism has a wide range of dynamic effects.
– Fourth, tourism has proven impact on development.
By bringing key partners together for increasing aid for sustainable tourism, the sector can produce development results.