elephant hills hotel 24.08.10.jpgStakeholders in the local tourism industry say there is need to further develop the country’s infrastructural facilities in order to attract investment within the sector and to ensure the attainment of the projected 6% growth in 2011.

 

The tourism industry, which is anticipated to register at least 6% growth, has of late shown signs of revival evidenced by the increase in tourist arrivals to 2,2 million in 2010 compared to 2 million in 2009, as well as the growth in tourism receipts which is expected to reach US$770 million in 2011.

 

A player in the industry, Mr Moses Manyengavana, who expressed optimism of the ability of the sector to surpass the 6% growth, said more needs to be done to ensure that the country’s infrastructural facilities are globally competitive.

 

“We need to improve our infrastructure in order to attract more tourists. Although most of our facilities match international standards, there is need for further improvement,” Mr Manyengavana said.

 

In 2010, the sector’s growth projections were revised downwards to an estimated 0.5% due to slow recovery of the global economy, capital constraints and failure of the industry to attract meaningful benefits from the 2010 World Cup.

 

A managing director with a local travel agency, Ms Zodwa Mtunzi, believes the sector can reverse the yesteryear slow growth rate if current robust marketing strategies are maintained.

 

While much has been done in the perception management of the local tourism, the figures of tourist arrivals from the former leading source market have remained low with Europe and Asia contributing 4% of total number of tourists arrivals in 2010.