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BMI View: We hold a generally positive outlook for the Zimbabwean tourism sector over the course of our
forecast period to 2020, due to growing arrivals from Asia and outside Africa. Nevertheless, we hold a
somewhat subdued outlook for 2016, mainly due to the influence of the 15% VAT on tourist
accommodation. We expects regional arrivals to decrease through the forecast period as travel becomes
more expensive, while overseas arrivals are forecast to increase. Even though Zimbabwe has high potential
to become a tourist hub through its vast attractions, this potential is hindered by unsophisticated travel
routes, poor infrastructure and adverse policies deterring international investments.
- Fastjet, the low-cost African carrier, has introduced two weekly flights from Johannesburg to Victoria
- Chinese visitors to Zimbabwe will be allowed to apply for a visa upon arrival following a loosening of
visa restrictions. Additionally, visas have been scrapped entirely for countries within the South African
Development Community (SADC). The Zimbabwean government has stated that Chinese tourist
numbers have risen over 32% y-o-y in H1 2016 compared to H1 2015 due to the relaxed visa restrictions.
- International tourism receipts are set to rise from USD1.03bn in 2016 to over USD2.79bn in 2020,
tracking increased overseas arrivals.
- Total inbound arrivals are forecast to rise by 9.8% between 2016 and 2020, reaching over 2.8mn by the
end of the period.
- In March 2016, Zimbabwe won the award for Best Destination for adventure at the International Tourism
Bourse in Berlin, a recognition which could boost the tourism sector.