‘Shift focus to economy, nation building’

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Bulawayo Burea
GLOBAL hospitality consultancy, HVS Africa, has called on Zimbabwean political players to accept last week’s harmonised election results and shift focus to the future of the country and developing its economy.

The organisation has acknowledged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory against main rival MDC-Alliance candidate, Nelson Chamisa, and said now was the time for the country to focus on the economy.

HVS Africa associate director, Rishabh Thapar in a statement on Wednesday, said Zimbabwe has a huge potential for economic growth and implored the incoming Government to increase focus on turning around the economy.

“The country, which is under severe external debt, needs to be able to gain access to credit. The Government would need to create favourable policies, stamp out corruption and create/revive its own currency — this requires their undivided focus,” said  Thapar.

According to HVS Africa, one key area that boasts multiple opportunities for the tourism sector, which could play a massive role in this effort. The organisation made reference to an analysis by African Sun Limited, which indicated Zimbabwe was ranked 117th in most likely travel destinations in the world as compared to South Africa, which ranks 60th.

“Tourism policies and infrastructure can create massive opportunities for an economy. Not only through job creation and direct/indirect income from tourism activities but also creating opportunity for interaction and business avenues,” said Thapar.

According to World Travel and Tourism Council, while the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Zimbabwe’s GDP was 3,5 percent, the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP — including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts — was over eight percent in 2016 and 2017.

Thapar said at the core of the major plans for the new Government should be restoration of financial and political stability by involving skilled workforce in national building programmes and schemes.

“More than three million Zimbabweans are estimated to be living outside their country, having left the country for better economic prospects during the last two decades. This accomplished workforce with their experience of living abroad would certainly play a crucial role in the rise of Zimbabwe if they were to return to their country,” he said.

Thapar further explained that the phase of restoring confidence among its citizens and the international community could usher an era of increased domestic and foreign investment and growth which perhaps has remained stunted for a better part of two decades.

HVS Africa is part of the largest global hospitality advisory consultancy firm that offers support with any aspect of financing, developing, owning, or operating a hospitality property. It has evolved into the global professional services leader by continually providing clients with unrivalled hospitality intelligence.

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