Tourism And Enviroment

MORE PROJECTIONS OF STRONG RECOVERY IN THE ZIMABWEAN TOURISM INDUSTRY AS CHINA INJECTS FUNDING INTO AIRPORT FACE-LIFT.

The China Exim Bank has injected US$37,5 million to fund the rehabilitation and development of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

In an update on the country’s infrastructure development projects during the presentation of the midterm fiscal policy review last week, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube mentioned that the US$37,5 million was part of the US$153 million deal between China and Zimbabwe aimed at renovating the airport.

The International and Domestic terminal buildings will be refurbished increasing the airport’s holding capacity to six million people annually from the normal 2,5 million.

This has also seen Qatar International airways expanding flights into Harare via Lusaka boosting the country’s tourism sector that suffered a huge blow due to COVID-19.

In 2016 the Victoria Falls Airport underwent a similar situation as China helped Zimbabwe complete a rehabilitation programme by injecting US$150 million which saw the Airport increasing its carrying capacity to 1,2 million international travelers annually.

This forecasts an expansion in the tourism industry which is the major supporter of airport business.

Tourism hotspots and potential tourist attractions such as Chapoto, Binga and Buffalo range airstrips have also started undergoing rehabilitation as part of the airport upgrade programme.

The tourism industry in Zimbabwe has been negatively affected by COVID-19 with the closures of international borders and restricted intercity travel by the government to curb further spread of the virus.