Religion boosting Zimbabwe tourism

Lovemore Lubinda

Religion is becoming a major form of tourism in Zimbabwe accounting for 5.1 percent receipts.

According to 2015/16 visitor exit survey (VES) report, the sector is fasting becoming one of most sought tourism activity apart from sightseeing, shopping and transit visiting.

Religious tourism involves people travelling to and from religious conferences, visiting religious shrines, while others will seek healing.

In the world Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Israel are good examples of major players in religious tourism.

Recently, Zimbabwe has registered a fair share of religious sects that has commanded a large share of followers in and outside the country.

According to M Dzinotizei  Director general Zimbabwe Statistical Agency  (ZIMSTAT), the objective of the  2015/16 VES was to feed into production of a Tourism Satellite  Account (TSA), obtain demographic and socio-economic information on visitors to Zimbabwe, obtain direct feedback from visitors on their experiences in and impressions on visitors requirements and their user-ship of various facilities and services.

The VES is critical source of information with respects to measuring and monitoring of key indicators in the tourism sector.

“These services include accommodation, amnesties, activities and transport, assess the uptake level of packaging and facilitate comparison of current survey results with previous studies,” said Dzinotizei.

The survey was conducted at three airports and seven border posts namely, Harare International Airport, Joshua MqabukoNkomo International Airport, Victoria Falls International Airport, Victoria Falls Barrier, Beitbridge, Chirundu, Forbes, Nyamapanda, Kazungula and Plumtree.

Tourism has become one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries in the world. Zimbabwe has experienced growth in the sector as evidenced by the increase in the number of international arrivals from 1.2 million in 2009 to 2.1 in 2015.

The sector’s good performance has been attributed to the vigorous marketing by the ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry in partnership with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority as a safe and unique destination to the world.