Sean Kritzinger, Co-Owner and General Manager at Giltedge Africa said: “I definitely feel that Mugabe’s resignation will have a positive effect on tourism to Zimbabwe – as long as the new regime shows that they have the best interests of the population at heart. If it is more of the same as it was under Mugabe, then no, this will not bring a positive change.”
He says this is a huge opportunity for the new party and government to make changes and improve the lives of millions of Zimbabweans in every sphere of life.
“Tourism can play a prominent role in bettering a country, as it does in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, for example,” he concludes.
Robin Brown, Managing Director of Cansaf and Founder of Victoriafalls24.com, said: “As we look forward to the future I think the strength of goodwill in this country will now prevail. Tourism will be first, as the country is so well known and many people have been avoiding it, as they were either concerned for their safety or they felt that maybe their tourism dollar would go into Mugabe’s pocket.”
He said Zimbabwe’s tourism had risen in recent years, especially in Victoria Falls and, recently, Hwange National Park, and now the entire country is finally ready to welcome tourists.
He concluded: “It will take time and careful planning to get this once-powerful nation to fulfil its potential. For the tourist, however, there need be no waiting. We have been and remain one of Africa’s true wonders.”
Kerry-Lee Martheze, Office Manager at Drifters Adventours, said Mugabe’s recent resignation was history in the making for Zimbabwe. “With regard to the impact on tourism, we would all like to hope that it will increase the amount of tourists travelling within their borders, however they have a long road ahead of them.”
Martheze continued: “There is speculation as to what is going to happen in the next months, to the country and its people. We are holding thumbs that there will be positive feedback in the months to follow.”
John Ridler, Spokesperson for Thompsons Holidays, said: “Harare is the centre of attention at present, whereas our main market in Zimbabwe is Victoria Falls and we have not seen a drop in demand.”
He says suppliers have reassured them that there is nothing to be concerned about and it is business as usual.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a statement, however, stating that due to political uncertainly in Harare, travellers should continue to exercise caution when travelling around the capital and avoid large gatherings and demonstrations.
Zimbabwe’s recently fired Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected to be sworn in as President on Friday (Nov 23).