Weakening rand affects Zim tourism

The number of South African tourists visiting Zim has dropped by 15 percent in the last two years.

FILE: The capital of Zimbabwe, Harare. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

CAPE TOWN -Zimbabwe's Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi has told his country's parliament that the weakening rand is having an adverse impact on tourism arrivals.

Zimbabwe depends on South Africa for 70 percent of its visitors; but in the last two years, the number of people coming from South Africa to Zimbabwe has dropped.

Zimbabwe is keen to 'milk' improved media coverage of its tourism destinations in recent months after more than a decade of being shunned.

Mzembi says tourism can provide what he calls a painkiller for the challenges facing Zimbabwe's economy.

South Africa is a key source market: visitors include not only South African residents, but also tourists of other nationalities who may be holidaying in South Africa and decide to make a quick trip to Victoria Falls.

But the number of visitors has declined by 15 percent in the last two years.

Zimbabwe prices its products using the US dollar and Mzembi says the weakening rand has made Zimbabwe uncompetitive.