Mr Rishabh Thapar,

Mr Rishabh Thapar,

Business Editor
GLOBAL hospitality consultancy, HVS Africa, has called on Zimbabwean political players to accept last week’s harmonised election results and shift focus to developing the country’s economy.

The organisation has acknowledged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory against main rival MDC-Alliance candidate, Mr Nelson Chamisa and said now is the time for the country to focus on the economy.

In a press statement yesterday HVS Africa associate director, Mr Rishabh Thapar, said Zimbabwe has a huge potential for economic growth and implored the incoming Government to increase focus on turning around the economy.

“The country, which is under severe external debt, needs to be able to gain access to credit. The Government would need to create favourable policies, stamp out corruption and create/revive its own currency – this requires their undivided focus,” said Mr Thapar.

According to HVS Africa, one key area that boasts multiple opportunities is the tourism sector, which could play a massive role in this effort. The organisation made reference to an analysis by African Sun Limited, which indicated Zimbabwe is ranked 117th in most likely travel destinations in the world.

“Tourism policies and infrastructure can create massive opportunities for an economy. Not only through job creation and direct/indirect income from tourism activities but also creating opportunity for interaction and business avenues,” said Mr Thapar.

The World Travel and Tourism Council said while the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Zimbabwe’s GDP was 3,5 percent, the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP – including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, was more than eight percent in 2016 and 2017.

Mr Thapar said at the core of the major plans for the new Government should be restoration of financial and political stability by involving skilled workforce in national building programmes and schemes.

“More than three million Zimbabweans are estimated to be living outside their country, having left the country for better economic prospects during the last two decades. These accomplished workers with their experience of living abroad, would certainly play a crucial role in the rise of Zimbabwe if they were to return to their country,” he said.

Mr Thapar further explained that the phase of restoring confidence among citizens and the international community could usher an era of increased domestic and foreign investment and growth which has remained stunted for the better part of the last two decades.

HVS Africa is part of the largest global hospitality advisory consultancy firm that offers support with any aspect of financing, developing, owning, or operating a hospitality property. It has become a global professional services leader that provides clients hospitality intelligence.