Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, who has been talking major tourism ventures, will have a difficult time promoting tourism this year as his ministry was only allocated $6.2 million, less than a tenth of what it had bid for
The ministry which is talking about putting up a “Disneyland in Africa” at the country’s foremost tourism resort, the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, had applied for $73.2 million but allocated only 8.4 percent of that.
The key tourism body, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, was only allocated $1.7 million from a bid of $30.9 million. It will, therefore, only stage 8 international travel shows instead of 33.
Mzembi has said Zimbabwe can boost its tourism earnings from $1 billion to $5 billion within the next five years and he was not dreaming.
“We have the potential to earn $5 billion per annum by 2020. The $5 billion is exactly the size of Minister Chinamasa’s budget today. I am not dreaming. In 1999 we had 48 international carriers landing at Harare International Airport, today we are at 16. We are seeking to bring Zimbabwe back to its air hub status. We need to sign up another 32 airlines and it is not impossible,” he said.
Mzembi also shocked most people when he said Zimbabwe would bid to the host the next Soccer World Cup to be hosted by Africa in 2034.