Unit 9 Sustainable Tourism Development Assignment-Btechnd
South Africa and Zimbabwe are two countries in African continent that have huge potential for tourism. The comparison of tourism development in Zimbabwe has been made with that of South Africa. South Africa has strategically developed tourism whereas Zimbabwe has faced certain issues in tourism development. These aspects have been discussed below followed by recommendations for tourism development in Zimbabwe.
Tourist Development Issues
Several issues impacting the tourist development in Zimbabwe have been identified. These are as below
Political issues: This is the major factor in the development of tourism in the region. The policies and support of the government is important in the tourism development. In case of political issues it is difficult to implement policies that can provide opportunities for the development of tourism sites and attract tourists (Lundber, 2011).
Economic Issues:Zimbabwe is facing huge economic issues. The high inflation rate and low value of currency in the international market are the major factors that have impacted the development plans in the country. For example the infrastructure like hotels and lodges isn’t well developed. High inflation rate also impacts availability of quality food for tourists.
Lack of internal airline connectivity:This is more related to currency value. The airports are notthere and the fuel prices are quite high. The lack of airline connectivity makes tourist attractions less accessible. For example the destinations such as Kariba, Victoria Falls, Masvingo are having almost no link with the major cities. Further there are no luxury coaches linking the respective tourist destinations with the major cities/ towns except for the Harare?Bulawayo?Victoria Falls route. This has to be considered which can be a huge boost to the tourism in the country.
Poor marketing strategy and programmes: The marketing strategy and programmes of the government are concentrated on a few locations only. For example the Victoria Falls is at the centre of every programme and the key attractions like Mutirikwi in Masvingo is underutilized due to lack of promotion.
Lack of domestic tourism promotions:The contribution to tourism by domestic tourists is minimal. In contrast South Africa has been benefitted by vibrant domestic market. The majority of the domestic tourists are mainly people who are on business trips or conferences who have limited consumption of tourist products (Lundber, 2011).
Lack of Skills and experience:The sector does not have competent and skilled workforce which is required at international standards. The exodus of manpower occurred during crisis. The lack of availability of such workforce impacts international tourists’ visits.
Unfriendly Visa Policies:The government policies are antiquated. The visa policies of the government do not support tourism industry. This gives advantage to regional competitors such as South Africa. (Lundber, 2011). For example it has been reported that many tourists have cancelled their trips due to delay in getting the Visa. These tourists were travelling from South Africa.
Overall the major issues related to tourism development in Zimbabwe are linked to the government policies and inflation. This is affected by the stable political scenario of the country. This aspect has affected all other factors. Further certain policies associated with the marketing, workforce development and international policies also contributed to the lack of tourism development.
Comparing these developments in South Africa, the potential and the opportunities have been harnessed well by South Africa. The country has hosted several sporting events, has entered into economic coalition with several countries and has developed infrastructure at a rapid pace. Zimbabwe has been lacking in all these factors. However such rapid expansion and investment as a result of hosting too many events has certainly put pressure on the government. But this factor has been strategically managed as a result of investment by international players. Such strategy needs to be developed by Zimbabwe as well. In the report by Nzenga (2013), almost 50% of the tourists faced issues in South Africa due to lack of management. The biggest example of the lack of effective policy implementation is the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa as there were many loopholes in the policy that has been implemented resulting in high level of inefficiencies in the entire sector in the province.
Tourism Development Recommendations
Based on the above study several recommendations have been framed in order to promote and support tourism in Zimbabwe. These are as follows
Visa Liberalization: This is issue is at the forefront. The solutions that have been suggested to increase the efficiency and make it easier for international tourists include ‘On Arrival Visa’ and ‘UNIVISA’ system with Zambia (Ndlovu& Heath, 2013).
Market Syndication: Market syndication is associated with the development of teams in support with the private players to develop marketing strategies, skilled workforce and promotion of domestic tourists. Development of such teams will enable the
Support Domestic Tourism: Schemes need to be developed that attract domestic tourists. Schemes such as providing attractive packages and providing facility like ‘Visit Now Pay Later’ will boost domestic tourism (Ndlovu& Heath, 2013).
Improve Destination Image: Zimbabwe is considered as most outdated country with lack of facilities and infrastructure. Further most of the destinations are not considered safe.
Aggressive Marketing: The government will have to ensure that the tourist places of the country are known in each and every country of the world that has potential customers. On the high level most of the countries are aware about the natural beauty in Zimbabwe. This is attributed to the success of South Africa tourism in the world. But little awareness is there about the specific locations. Effective and aggressive marketing will enable less known destinations gaining tourist attraction (Ndlovu& Heath, 2013).
Target High Value market: England and Ireland have traditionally been the major international tourists for Zimbabwe. Such high value markets need to be targeted that can provide greater returns.
On the whole the major issue for the country is lack of infrastructure. The economic and government policies need to be corrected in order to ensure that the tourism sectors boosts. Tourism needs investment in the form of infrastructure. Lack of availability of roads, hotels, transport hinders tourism growth. For this the government policies need to be corrected.
The report has been prepared analysing various aspects of tourism development. The discussion on planning arrangements for major sporting events showing the responsibilities of the various parties andstudy of various aspects of tourism development in developing countries shows that there is huge involvement and effort require in order to harness the advantage of tourism potential. Further the importance of identifying the weaknesses, development process and the benefits can be seen as it is very useful in sustainable tourism development in both developing nations and developed nations for emerging tourist destinations.
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