The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry have unveiled a $15 million tourism development facility targeted at boosting the operations of the sector towards doubling its foreign currency receipts.

The idea of a revolving fund was mooted early 2016 following challenges cited by industry players to access funds to develop their businesses. 

During an edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Expo hosted for the first time in Bulawayo in 2016, The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke hinted to negotiations with the central bank for the setting up of a facility that would ease  the challenges faced by operators to access working capital.

The fruition of these negotiations were unveiled today in a development that is expected to result in the sector improving on their infrastructure requirements while aiming towards the broader vision of doubling their export receipts from 5 percent to 10 percent  in the short to medium term.

But this is a facility that can only be enjoyed by registered players in the tourism industry.

For those that are not, it may be in their best interests to ensure that they do so as government has given them until the end of March this year to regularise their operations.

Government is however optimistic that the facility will cater for the needs of every player and harness the potential of this sector whose contribution to the gross domestic product has grown significantly over the past five years.

The tourism industry holds a lot of potential to improve the country’s economic performance after posting impressive strides last year with expectations that the contribution from this sector can grow from 11 percent to 20 percent in the medium term.