Zimbabwe has been removed from the “red list” by the United Kingdom in a positive development that is expected to see a surge in tourists from that country, a major boost for the local tourism industry.
When Covid-19 pandemic broke out, UK is one of the countries that put all tourism destinations under the red list to mitigate against the spread of the virus.
On her twitter account yesterday, UK ambassador to Harare Ms Melanie Robinson said Zimbabwe is coming off the red list next Monday.
“Glad to be able to highlight this good news — #Zimbabwe to come off the red list next Monday. Great news also for UK #tourists and #diaspora planning trips to Zimbabwe; this makes travel easier between our two countries,” she twitted.
Mr Clement Mukwasi, president of Tours and Safari Operators who is also the public relations and corporate affairs manager for Shearwater Victoria Falls, said the vaccination drive and the re-engagement programme by the Second Republic were paying dividends.
“As the vaccination spread and infections started dropping down, the UK started revaluing their positions. Victoria Falls is one of the destinations to reach herd immunity and Zimbabwe has made numerous strides in its vaccination campaign and that has resulted in UK opening up travel opportunities for its citizens into the country and vice versa from Monday. It is also part of the re-engagement success that the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa leadership has scored,” said an elated Mr Mukwasi.
Meanwhile, in his State of the Nation Address yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Government has started receiving requests for hosting of regional and international meetings in Victoria Falls, a clear endorsement of the national vaccination programme.
He said the entry of Qatar Airways to further link the country with Middle East markets is a welcome development.
“The entry of Qatar Airways to further link our country with Middle East markets is a welcome development. Air Zimbabwe continues on its quest to enhance efficiency and viability of the national carrier. The recent procurement of the Embraer ERJ 145 will thus increase the entity’s serviceable fleet of planes,” he said
President Mnangagwa commended the tourism sector for heeding to the national vaccination programme.
“As a clear endorsement of our national vaccination programme, we have begun receiving requests for the hosting of regional and international meetings in Victoria Falls. Special attention to other tourism areas such as Kariba and the Eastern Highlands remains critical with regards to the roll out of the vaccination programme is indeed transformational across all provinces., districts, cities and towns,” he said.