Zimbabwe’s tourism receipts have breached the US$1 billion mark as the sector continues to register strong growth with expectations that the country will achieve its goal of generating at least US$7 billion in earnings by 2030.

Buoyed by the renewed confidence in the destination and positive image, the country’s tourism industry is not showing any signs of slowing down with earnings and arrivals continuing on the upward trajectory.

After closing 2017 at US$917 million in earnings, the sector managed to rack in a total of US$1.050 billion in 2018.

Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscah Mupfumira said the sector can still do more and challenged the industry players to double efforts as the country seeks to achieve the US$7 billion earning target under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

“We are excited as an industry for having breached the US$1 billion mark and I must congratulate you all for your efforts,” said Mupfumira.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive Mrs Rita Likukuma stressed the need for players to invest in sprucing up their facilities as the sector seeks to increase its contribution to the economy.

“We need to invest more in sprucing up our facilities if we are to meet our revenue and arrivals targets,” Mrs Likukuma said.

The growth of the local tourism industry comes at a time the global travel and tourism sector continues to enjoy record numbers with global international tourist arrivals surging by a remarkable 6 percent in 2018 to reach a total of 1.4 billion.zbc